Preparing your Car for Winter

Car in winter snowWhile the dark nights are getting closer, it’s said that Britain could experience one of the coldest Winters in 30 years.

Last year, the ‘Beast from the East’ saw temperatures plunge down to a shivering -14°C, with winds reaching 70mph. Scientists have predicted that the central England temperature for this Winter will be even lower than last year*. With these brutal times approaching, just sparing a few minutes maintenance on your car could see it through the worst of the weather.

Here’s our guide to preparing your Car for Winter.

  1. Get your Car Serviced before Winter

It’s known by every car driver that the cold causes problems for cars but, what isn’t known is that up to half of the problems could have been prevented by a regular servicing. Save yourself the cost and inconvenience and book your car in for a service now. In winter, lots of garages offer discounted or even free ‘winter car checks’ so take advantage of some of these which may be local to you.

  1. Check your Cars Battery

It’s obvious that during winter you use your lights, heater and blower much more frequent. Suffering from almost double use, checking your battery should always be priority. If your car is having trouble when starting, get the battery checked out as soon as possible. Worst case scenario is that your car won’t start because of a flat battery. If this happens, try giving your car a jump start.

  1. Condition of Tyres

Your vehicles tyres are important for both braking and steering so keeping them in good condition is very important. Despite the legal minimum of a 1.6mm depth, we advise that you stick to a minimum of 3mm during winter. This just helps improve the grip of your car on ice and snow.

  1. Top up Engine Coolant

In the colder months, antifreeze will be extremely important for ensuing your engine doesn’t over-heat. Your engine coolant should be a 50/50 mix between antifreeze and water, this is because antifreeze becomes diluted over time.

  1. Give your Windscreen a check

Before winter, give your windscreen a thorough check for any cracks and chips. During winter, water can seep into these cracks, freeze and then cause expansion. Getting anything repaired before this can happen can save lots of money.

  1. Carry a Winter Breakdown Kit

In case of emergency, we advise carrying a breakdown kit in your car during winter. This kit should include some of these essentials if not all:

  • Torch
  • Blanket
  • Shovel
  • Hi-vis vest
  • Food and water
  • De-icer and scraper

Taking extra precaution when driving in bad weather is how you ensure your safety. We strongly advise that you always travel with a fully charged mobile just in case you find yourself in an accident or breakdown.

  1. Comprehensive Cover

Having comprehensive breakdown cover is vital at this time of year. The last thing you want is an accident and then being stranded in the cold. So, check with your policy and have the peace of mind knowing you are covered.

  1. Prepare!

If you know you need to be somewhere at a specific time, plan your journey ahead. Check for any road closures or delays and allow plenty of time for your journey. Being in a rush when the weather is bad increases your chances of being in a road car accident – so be prepared!

Customer Creations

Engine showing red silicone hoses

We love to see images from our customers which show our products insitu.

Instagram is a great source of inspiration to see what people can do with our individual components. Here at Viper we are always keeping an eye on our social media to see these great examples of engine upgrades. Just look at how great this engine bay look with Viper Performance silicone hoses.

Or this example of an induction setup for an Alfa Romeo. Our Silicone hoses are the perfect components for people like berlinasportivo to create such systems.

If you would like your creation featured on our social media and website then @viperperform in your Instagram posts or use the hashtag #viperhoses.

We look forward to seeing your creations.

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Difference between Stage 1,2 and 3 Tuning

car modsTuning companies often talk about stage 1,2 and 3 mods. But what are these mods and what do they mean?

These stages are often meaningless terms when applied to power gains as they can’t reliably be used to explain how much power a mod actually adds. Between stage 1,2 and 3 there is no consistent different between their classifications. However, there are some points which differentiate a ‘typical’ mod in each stage.

Stage 1 Modifications

A true stage 1 modification doesn’t require any other engine mod to get it to work, this means it can be added in isolation. Other mods can help to raise the power gains and realise the potential of the mod, they aren’t mandatory. These are at the bottom of the tuning scene in terms of the overall benefits you will receive. Stage 1 modifications are usually a straightforward DIY fit, they should also work on a standard engine that’s in good condition.

Some examples of Stage 1 mods include panel air filters, sports exhausts and fuel pressure regulators.

Stage 2 Modifications

Stage 2 mods tend to offer larger power gains than stage 1 but will require additional work on other parts if you want them to work reliably. Like stage 1, stage 2 mods are usually a DIY fit but will require more specialist knowledge and tools.

Some examples of stage 2 mods include aggressive remap that requires a stronger turbo, sports exhaust requiring new headers and internal mods requiring fuel to be uprated.

Stage 3 Modifications

Stage 3 modifications are known by most as a track day modification. Similarly, to stage 2, they will also require other mods to support them but they are usually less ideal for road use due to there aggressiveness. A stage 3 modified car will need to be regularly overhauled and serviced.

Some examples of stage 3 mods include aggressive cam profiles, heavy competition clutch and ultralight flywheels.

Find your performance parts here

Why is putting a F1 Engine in a Road Car so Difficult?

f1 to roadFormula 1 cars and road cars share the same components and operating features but that’s as far as similarities go. Formula 1 engines are very difficult to start. Due to the complexity they can’t cold-start, this means warm oil needs to be plumbed through the engine for a couple hours prior to firing it up. As you are aware of, starting a car doesn’t require this preparation, you can just get going right away.

Formula 1 engines also have a high-revving nature. This isn’t as much of a problem in ultra-light F1 cars, but with the additional weight of a street car, it would cause many issues for the engine. This is the reason for why Mercedes – AMG engineers reduced the engines redline to 11,00 rpm for the One hypercar – still a stratospheric number.

Next, the cost. Formula 1 car engineering demands a lot of money to develop. This means a legal street F1 hypercar would have a very high price tag. For this high price, people would expect a hypercar that will last – this is not a strong feature of F1 cars. One engine usually lasting 2 races means they need rebuilding and replacing quite often. For buyers, this constant need for work is a major put off.

Driverless cars, the future?

Following a detailed regulatory review the Government confirmed that there are no legal barriers to the testing of automated vehicles on public roads. It has launched the first official UK trials of driverless cars.

driverless lorrySo are driverless cars something we will see in the near future?

There are certainly many developments happening from a variety of manufacturers. A self-driving shuttle bus service is to be deployed in New York City this year and a driverless lorry has been let loose on Swedish roads.

US chipmaker Nvidia is teaming up with Volvo to develop artificial intelligence for self-driving trucks. Volvo will be making use of the Drive AI platform for vehicles developed by Nvidia, put together with its vehicles. The partnership is expected to last several years and will aim to develop a system enabling autonomous trucks to drive safely on motorways and roads alongside existing traffic.

Elon Musk, the chief executive of electric car company Tesla, has said he expects the firm to have self-driving “robotaxis” on the road by 2020. Mr Musk said he expected the scheme to operate on a model similar to that of Uber or Airbnb.

Will driverless cars make the roads less congested?

Cambridge University researchers produced a model of automated vehicles which could communicate with each other. They say it shows driverless cars working together could improve traffic flow by at least 35%. Cambridge University researchers programmed 16 miniature cars to drive on a two-lane track to see how they fared when one of them stopped. In the study traffic queues formed, but when the cars’ communication system was turned on, they slowed down to allow each other to pass the stationary car.

What are your thoughts about driverless vehicles?

Radical road legal Rapture blurs the lines between race and road

radicalRadical Sportscars has blurred the lines between road and race performance. The new road-legal sports car, the Rapture was unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Designed to bring unparalleled performance to the street. The Rapture has built on the British marque’s extensive experience of top-level motorsport engineering and design.

The Rapture is built in accordance with the UK’s Individual Vehicle Approval framework to ensure its road-legal nature. It has been driven by demand from both its existing customer base and the potential to expand its market boundaries,

It is also intended for European markets from launch, with homologation for worldwide territories to follow. The Rapture will also be a timely boost for British industry, being solely built, engineered and designed at the company’s Peterborough (Cambridgeshire) production facility.

Radical claims that no other street-legal car available today offers the same percentage of race-bred DNA as the Rapture. This makes it the ideal choice for customers seeking a raw, exhilarating driving experience.

Car Events 2019

Now that we are nearly half way through the year we wanted to give you a round up of the remaining car events you can look forward to in 2019.

Formula 1® Rolex British Grand Prix

Friday 12th – Sunday 14th July 2019

This year the Formula 1 British Grand Prix is returning to Silverstone. Held over a three-day weekend this event and is a true celebration of the sport. The best drivers, in the most finely-tuned racing machines, will be competing in this event, making it an unforgettable experience.

Continue reading “Car Events 2019” »

BMW looking to change consumers perception of plug-in hybrids

bmw i8Plug-in hybrids have drawn flak in some environmental circles because even though they are designed to be driven using electric power, many are not. But BMW is determined to improve the vehicles’ image. Its solution, to make consumers more aware of the vehicles’ benefits.

So why the interest to change consumer opinion? Well, BMW must sell more plug-in hybrids so it can bring down its emissions and comply with European regulations. Challenged with this mandate to cut fleet carbon dioxide emissions, BMW has launched a pilot program in Rotterdam, Netherlands, to encourage plug-in hybrid drivers to switch off their combustion engines and use battery power while driving.

Continue reading “BMW looking to change consumers perception of plug-in hybrids” »

Keeping your car happy

happy carAnyone who owns a car will know that they are sensitive machines. They need to be looked after in order to keep all of those interconnected parts functioning properly. There are some things you can do to avoid damage to your car.

Watch out for that…. pot hole

If you want to avoid buckled wheels, cracked tyres, or damaged suspension then taking care with bumps and pot holes is essential.

Potholes are a British institution, we all have a good moan about them from time to time.  Going fast over potholes can result in damage to your car. Keep an eye out for potholes and other signs of road damage as it might just save you a tidy sum in car repairs.

Speed bumps are designed to be an obstacle and as such not slowing down for them can cause damage to your suspension, tyres, exhaust and the underneath of your car. Normally keeping to 20mph or slower should reduce the risk of damage to your car.

Another thing to watch out for if you want to save your tyres and steering are Kerbs. Drivers often climb them to get out of the way of emergency vehicles or simply to manoeuvre out of a parking space or road. But, if you misjudge the grip on your tyres, or generate too much over or understeer while driving, you can also end up knocking into the kerb. This can wreck tyres and hub caps as well as your steering column and wheel position.

Kerb your bad driving habits
Many of us feel we are good drivers, but even the best of us can make mistakes. Some bad driving habits can cause damage to your car without you even realising it.

Sudden Braking over a short distance and especially at high speeds can cause your brake discs to become warped from overheating and can wear your brake pads away. While this is often difficult to avoid when driving in a city, it can help to take a less congested route to avoid sudden stops and starts. If you find you have to brake hard a lot, you may be following the car in front too closely.

Riding the clutch or brake is a common gripe with mechanics. The build-up of kinetic energy that happens when you ride the brake can cause the pads and rotor or drum to wear out. This means it’ll take a lot longer for the car to stop when you brake. Riding the clutch can lead to the plates and the pressure pads not engaging properly, so the friction wears away the clutch.

Avoid Overloading

Whether you’ve packed the car for a camping trip, moving house or taking stuff to the tip. Overloading your car with extra weight can damage the clutch, brakes, tyres and suspension. Make sure you check the maximum authorised mass or maximum permitted weight recommended for your car before driving with a heavy load.

Improve care and maintenance
Cars need a little maintenance to keep them road-worthy, so it’s important to give them proper care.

Driving with low fuel is dangerous to your car. When running out of fuel, the car takes it from the bottom of the tank where fuel contaminants often collect. A build-up of these can block your fuel filter. Keeping the fuel tank half-full at all times can stop this from happening.

Ignoring your car fluids or not checking them regularly can lead to them becoming contaminated and ineffective, shortening the life of your car. There are a number of fluids used to keep it running smoothly, such as engine oil, coolant, and brake fluid.

Tyre maintenance is often overlooked but very important as driving with worn, incorrectly inflated, or old tyres have an increased risk of blowing out or, if the road is wet, hydroplaning, which can be a major hazard.

Ignoring the engine light is an invitation for any problem to develop into something more expensive. The engine light is the car’s own way of telling you there’s something wrong, so keep an eye on the dashboard and pay attention to any lights.

If you are looking for products then head over to our shop

How to stop boost hoses popping off

My boost hose has popped off again!! A regular site in forums.

A common problem with turbo systems is hoses slipping or popping off. This is caused by high pressure within the system forcing the hose off. Often the clips that hold the hoses in place are not strong enough to withstand this pressure. If the hoses pop off you will know immediately as it will affect performance considerably.

Although all Viper Performance aluminium pipes come with Roll Beaded ends to prevent hoses slipping, in some cases, pressure is so high that even the tightest fitted hoses are unable to stay in place. This can be annoying if you’re on the road but catastrophic in a race environment.

So what’s the answer?

The boost brace is specifically designed to solve this problem.  You can simply weld the flat seat of the feet onto your aluminium pipes, adjust the length of your bracket, and eureka,  hoses will never come off again.

What’s more is that thanks to our clever quick release pin, you can remove your installation in a second with no tools!

Buy yours here