18 Feb 2015

Essentials Everyone Should Have in Their Car

car body repairs No Comments

It pays to be prepared, and when it comes to travelling in your car, you can rarely be too prepared. Although no one wants a cluttered car, there are certain things every driver should have ready in case they need them. Here’s our list of essential items…

Toolkit and Car Maintenance

All cars need to be properly maintained in order to make them fit for driving, and occasionally you may need to do some maintenance on the road. These handy items will ensure that you have everything you need should anything need repairing away from home:

  • Spare tyre, tyre jack and tyre iron
  • Tyre inflator and sealer
  • Jumper cables
  • Tyre pressure gauge
  • Toolkit

Safety and Survival

From extreme weather to traffic jams to accidents, lots of safety hazards can crop up, and there are essentials that every driver should have in their car in case of these circumstances:

  • First Aid kit
  • Torch
  • Spare batteries
  • Towels
  • Spade (in winter)
  • Matches/lighter
  • Map
  • Blanket
  • Ice scraper
  • Change of clothes
  • Portable phone charger

Comfort and Entertainment

Not every item in your car has to have a serious purpose, and there are certain items that are good to have around for your own convenience and comfort:

  • Tissues
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Phone Speakers
  • Umbrella
  • Car bin
  • Spare change (for parking, road tolls etc.)
  • Snacks and bottled water
  • GPS mount

Combine these items with your own personal essentials and you’ll be ready for any situation while on the road. However, you’ll always need a bit of assistance from time to time, and if your car needs some care and you are looking for car body repairs in Wimbledon, at Smartway London we offer the very best in car body repairs, providing outstanding service and results for our customers. Contact us today by calling 07732 542500.

08 Jan 2015

How To: Change a Tyre

General, Tips No Comments

Not every driver is a trained mechanic, but there are some skills that every driver should learn so they are prepared for common difficulties they may face. One of these skills that every driver should have is knowing how to change a tyre. If you don’t know how to do this, don’t panic! We’ve put together a guide on how to change a tyre.

  • First off, you’re going to need a flat surface (i.e. a road). Make sure you pull over as far from traffic as you can get, and then turn on your hazard lights.
  • Put your car into first gear and apply the handbrake.
  • Hopefully you’ll have a jack; you’re going to need it!
  • Place the jack under the frame near the tyre that needs replacing; it needs to be in contact with the metal part. On some modern cars, there is a small notch where the jack is intended to go.
  • Raise the jack so it is supporting, but not lifting, the car, then check that it is secure and sitting comfortably.

  • Remove the hubcap, and, with a wrench, loosen the nuts by turning them anti-clockwise, but don’t remove them completely just yet.
  • Pump the jack so the wheel is off the ground enough to be able to remove the wheel. As you do this, keep checking that the jack and car are stable.
  • Remove the nuts completely.
  • Remove the tyre.
  • Place the spare tyre on the hub and reattach the nuts.
  • Tighten the nuts by hand, and then use the wrench to fully tighten them.
  • Lower the car to the ground and carefully remove the jack.
  • Give the nuts another tighten to ensure they are secured.
  • Pop the damaged tyre in your boot, and you should be ready to go!

It really is as simple as that, so make sure you’re prepared for the worst when you set out on journeys by keeping a full emergency kit with you.

Here at Smartway, we specialise in car body repairs in Wimbledon and the surrounding area, so if your car needs a little TLC, we’re here for you! For more information, contact us by calling 07732 542500 to speak to a member of our team.

29 Dec 2014

Top Car Maintenance Essentials

Tips No Comments

Regular maintenance of your vehicle can help ensure you car stays running at its best in between services, saving you both time and money. So here we take a quick look at some top car maintenance tips, and checks, for safe, hassle-free driving.


The tyres of your car play an essential role in the safety and handling of your vehicle. Hence checking your tyres regularly can save you a lot of hassle, and prevent you from running into trouble. You should aim to check the pressure of your tyres at least every fortnight, using a high-quality gauge, making sure they’re cold first.

It’s also important to check the tread on your tyres too. There are legal minimum requirements for the tread of your tyres, and the tread depth of your tyres should not fall below these. You can make a simple visual check of the tread depth of your tyres, by looking at the wear indicators, located in the grooves of your tyre’s tread pattern. However, a more reliable method of measuring the tread of your tyres is to use a depth measuring gauge, which will typically give you a more accurate measurement. Uneven wear across the surface of your tyres, could indicate problems with your car’s steering, or suspension, so it’s important to get this checked out. Remember to check your spare too, so you don’t get caught out!


Check your car’s engine oil very two weeks or so, and before a long journey. Most experts also recommend you replace the oil and oil filter in your engine at regular intervals too.

Body Work

It’s important to deal with any damage to your car’s body work quickly, to prevent the development of any further damage or rusting. Here at Smartway, we’re experts when it comes to car body repairs and can ensure your vehicle gets back to looking its best.


It can also be a good idea to check your car’s lights every week too, including the indicators, and brake lights, especially during the darker winter months. Cleaning your lights regularly can also ensure they stay in good working order, and help you to identify any potential problems.


Keep an eye on your car’s windscreen for any signs of damage, even relatively small chips can develop into large cracks, however, luckily, many of these can be easily fixed.

Engine Coolant

Engine coolant helps to regulate the temperature of your car’s engine. If the coolant levels in your car’s engine are too low, this could lead to overheating, which can cause significant damage. To check your car’s coolant levels, simply locate your car’s coolant tank. Then make a visual check to make sure that the coolant level is between the minimum and maximum marks, which should be clearly indicated on the tank.

Whatever car you own, hopefully these basic maintenance tips will help ensure your car keeps looking, and running at its best. Here at Smartway we’re a specialist provider of car body repairs in Wimbledon and the surrounding areas. For more information about our services, please don’t hesitate to contact us today, by giving us a call on 07732 542 500, and a member of our expert team will be happy to help you with your enquiries.

09 Dec 2014

Car-azy: the Weirdest Vehicle Customisations (Part 1)

General No Comments

Here at Smartway, we regularly carry out a wide variety of car body repairs in Wimbledon, and because of that you can be sure that we come into contact with a huge array of different car types. Some of these are very unusual indeed, and in these special cases you can bet your life that the owner is very keen to get bodywork problems sorted. After all, people are always more likely to go to town on the appearance of something that they’re genuinely attached to.

All of this got us thinking; what are the strangest car conversions and customisations that we’ve come across? More to the point, what are the strangest car conversions of all?? In this, the first of a mini-series, we’re going to take a look at one customisation that we came across in the news…

Great Scott! Yes indeed, the car in question is the iconic DeLorean from Back to the Future, but possibly not as you know it. Given the beloved status of the DeLorean in popular culture, it’s no surprise that this should be a popular car for customisations, but this is really quite impressive!

As you can see from the Metro article in question, this guy’s imagination isn’t exactly limited. Be honest, how many of you would have thought of turning a 1981 DeLorean car into a monster truck? Well, it may not be an obvious move, but it’s definitely happened, and even more astounding is the fact that it only took one month to build! The project literally involved combining a DeLorean with a 4×4 chassis. Simple, perhaps, but it definitely works.

At the other end of the scale, we have a DeLorean limousine. You probably couldn’t get further from a monster truck than a limousine, but the Delorean has still adapted to the style with aplomb. In this case, numerous vehicles were needed to create the finished article, and so several years were required to see things to the conclusion. The owner of this crazy twosome, Rich Weissensel, has even made a hovercraft from a DeLorean, so it just goes to show what you can do with a little innovation.

Although your own vehicle may not be quite as ‘one-of-a-kind’ as these customisations, you’d still be well advised to keep your family ride in great condition, and that means attending to even the smallest bodywork repairs. At Smartway, our professional team can be trusted with even the most delicate repair jobs, so contact us now by calling 07732 542500 and we’ll be happy to help.

02 Dec 2014

Boys versus Girls – Who is Better at Parking?

General No Comments

It’s one of the oldest and most gender-stereotypical issues of all; who is better at parking…boys or girls? Amid accusations of a ‘lack of spatial awareness’ and ‘short attention spans’, a lot of studies have actually been carried out to identify whether any conclusions can be drawn from this age-old discussion, and it may not surprise you to learn that there are several very distinct viewpoints at large. Nothing results in us carrying out car body repairs in Wimbledon quite like parking fails, so we thought we’d take a closer look into this common point of contention…

For the Boys…

There’s a widespread opinion circulating among ‘blokes’ that women have a natural lack of spatial awareness; at least in comparison to their male counterparts. Some studies have been carried out in support of this argument, and parallel parking has often been hailed as one particular area where women struggle. Furthermore, women generally take fewer risks when parking and take their time a little more, yet the results are (apparently) not as accurate as a guy parking a car. However…

For the Girls…

…if you read this old Telegraph article, you’ll be given a very different story to the great cliché of ‘women can’t park’. In this study, women were found to be more adept at manoeuvring, as well as more competent when it came to locating spaces in the first place. The idea that women take longer to park (on average) does seem to carry some weight, but aside from that the two stances seem entirely incompatible; their claims are completely to the contrary.

Some men have argued that parking in the middle of a space is a poor benchmark to determine accurate parking by, because this isn’t always the best policy, but the fact remains that the idea of women being ‘spatially less aware’ looks to have substantial flaws. In the end then, we have two viewpoints, both apparently backed up by studies, that appear to say the exact opposite of each other. Because of that, we can’t help but wonder if it’s just a case of individual driver competence.


Shock horror! How dare we suggest that gender has nothing to do with this almost ageless quibble! Could the answer really be as simple as ‘it depends on the person’? It could well be, but here at Smartway we know very well that both men and women alike need car body repairs for plenty of different reasons, and all we care about is being able to solve those problems. We’re proud to say that we have a proven track record for doing so, so contact us now by calling 07732 542500.