From how to write a cover letter to how to boil an egg, these questions prove that there is nothing the internet can’t answer.
The six ‘how tos’ are among the most searched for online and cover topics ranging from MOT tests to fussy children.
But scrolling through seemingly endless responses can be overwhelming – and time-consuming – which is why FEMAIL has partnered with Kwik Fit, the UK’s largest vehicle maintenance and repair retailer, to offer concise answers to some of the most popular queries.
When it comes to car-related dilemmas, there is nowhere better to turn to than Kwik Fit. Kwik Fit’s website is full of advice on everything from how to book in for an MOT test to how to tell if you need a brake inspection.
Kwik Fit’s centres will continue to stay open during lockdown to ensure that everyone is safe on the roads to complete essential journeys. If you need Kwik Fit’s help, book an appointment at your local Kwik Fit here.
So if you have a burning question that needs answered, save yourself some time and read on to see if it is tackled in this handy guide…
HOW TO WRITE A COVER LETTER
Put your best self forward: A cover letter is the first opportunity to show the employer what you have to offer. Make sure it is clear, concise and full of information that sets you apart
A winning cover letter is a golden passport to that dream job. It gives you a chance to put forward your most relevant experience and achievements, and this really helps grab the employers’ attention.
But condensing everything you have to say onto a single sheet of paper is no mean feat. Here are five steps everyone should take to make the process as easy as possible.
1. Find out who to address: Having a person to address is a quick and easy way to ensure your cover letter doesn’t immediately end up at the bottom of the pile. Check the job listing or search networks like LinkedIn to find the name of the person in the company who handles applications.
2. Outline your current role: It’s important to outline your current job situation and why you are searching for new opportunities as this will provide context for the employer while giving you a chance to show off what you have achieved so far.
However, it’s really important not to be negative about your current or past employers as this will reflect poorly on your attitude towards work.
3. Prove you’ve done your research: Showing that you’ve researched the company you are applying to join is always beneficial. State why you are interested in them in particular. Is there a recent project you can mention? Is there a senior member of staff you have long admired and wish to learn from? Or maybe it is the company ethos that has attracted you. Whatever it is, make sure you demonstrate that you know exactly who they are – and you want to be a part of the team. This is also a good time to tell them what you can bring to the business.
4. Highlight your relevant skills: Tailor the information in the cover letter to highlight the skills that best fit those put forward in the job description. This helps cut through the CV to explain exactly what is most important to this particular employer.
5. Check, check… and check again! Allow yourself enough time to check the letter thoroughly to make sure it is neat, brief and free from typos. End your cover letter by politely expressing interest in further dialogue in order to keep the discussion open.
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR BRAKES NEED CHECKED
Put safety first: There are a number of things that can go wrong with brakes. If you notice any of the symptoms below, it is time to book in for a free brake check appointment with Kwik Fit
There are a number of tell-tale signs to look out for which could indicate that it is time to take your car for a brake inspection.
What does a Kwik Fit brake check cover?
A comprehensive Kwik Fit brake check begins with a preliminary road test to check the braking system followed by a series of inspections in the following key areas:
Brake Pedal: A check on the pedal travel and servo operation during a static test.
Pads & Shoes: To measure any wear on the pads or shoes and also check for damage.
Wheel Cylinder: Examination of the cylinder assembly and master cylinder for damage or fluid leaks.
Disc Brake Calipers: Examination of the calipers, hoses and pipes, checking for damage or fluid leaks around each brake unit.
Precision Inspection: To measure the discs or drums for wear as well as reporting any damage.
Handbrake: To report on the condition and operation of the handbrake.
Brake Fluid: To check the quality of the brake fluid to ensure it still lubricates effectively and has not taken in a high level of moisture.
Final Road Test: To check the braking system is working effectively.
For more information on Kwik Fit’s free brake check click here.
If you notice any of the below when driving – or would like your brakes checked before going on a long journey – it is time to book in for a free brake check at Kwik Fit.
A trained brake technician will complete a free, no-obligation inspection and then provide you with a written brake report and a quote for any work which is required.
Grinding: When the friction material on brake pads are heavily worn, it can result in a grinding noise as the brake pad has worn down to the metal caliper. This will likely damage the brake disc also.
Squeaking: There are many reasons why brakes squeak. It could suggest the brake caliper has stuck and the brakes pad remains partially applied to the disc but some pads have wear indicators that squeal when worn to let the driver know the brakes need changing. Either way, you should get this checked out.
Pulsating: If you feel a continuous pulsating from the brake pedal whenever you apply the brakes, it indicates the brake disc has become warped due to excessive heat.
Pulsation occurs because the brake disc is distorted and no longer provides a perfectly flat surface when the brake pad makes contact. If this only occurs when you apply the brakes firmly, it could just be the ABS kicking in but you should have this checked out if you are concerned or it happens regularly.
Pulling: If your car pulls to the left or right when you apply the brakes this is usually indicative of a sticking hydraulic or mechanical component such as a seized caliper. An inspection can identify the precise reason for the vehicle pulling to one side.
Sponginess: If the brake pedal feels spongy and the brakes seem unresponsive, it could be a sign that air has entered the brakes lines and is preventing the brake fluid from flowing through this system effectively.
For a full list of tell-tale signs visit the Kwik Fit website here.
What services do Kwik Fit offer?
Kwik Fit offers a full range of products and services for all your vehicle maintenance needs:
- Mobile Tyre Fitting
- MOT Testing
- Vehicle Servicing
- Air Conditioning
… and much more! Visit the website here for more information.
HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT BOILED EGG
Simply egg-sellant! Professional chefs and cookbooks are full of tips on how to boil an egg to perfection, whether you like the yolk golden and runny for soldiers or yellow and firm
It is a deceptively difficult skill to master and leaves even seasoned cooks vexed: how do you boil an egg to perfection?
Professional chefs, cookbooks and food blogs are full of tips about how to get the yolk just right, whether you want it runny for dipping soldiers or hard boiled for an on-the-go snack. Here we share some of our favourites:
How to get a ‘squidgy’ centre: Place a pan with the eggs in cold water on a high heat. When they reach boiling point, reduce to a simmer and cook for three minutes if you like a really soft-boiled egg; four minutes for a white that is just set and a creamy yolk; five minutes for a white and yolk perfectly set with a bit of ‘squidgy’ in the centre.
For the perfect soft-boiled egg: Put the eggs into boiling water using a metal basket, such as a deep sieve, to lower the eggs into the water together. That way, if you are cooking more than one, they will be ready at the same time. Leave the eggs in the pan for precisely three minutes then take them out and plunge them into another container filled with ice water. You’ll have the perfect soft-boiled egg.
Just-cooked hard boiled egg: Put the eggs into a saucepan of cold water and bring the water to the boil over a medium heat. After one minute, remove the pan from the heat and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 10 minutes. Tip out the hot water and run cold water over the eggs until they feel cool to the touch.
HOW TO BOOK AN MOT TEST
Book early: If it is time for your vehicle to have an MOT test then there is no better place to turn to than Kwik Fit, the UK’s No. 1 MOT tester, which offers an online MOT test booking service
The MOT test is designed to ensure that your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards as set out by the DVSA.
MOT test Q&A: What you need to know
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING? The only thing you need to bring is the vehicle. The tester will be able to look up your vehicle on the DVSA database to find the existing MOT details.
HOW LONG DOES AN MOT TEST TAKE? The MOT test takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour to complete. Each Kwik Fit MOT test centre is equipped with comfortable seating and free wifi so you can relax while you wait.
HOW LONG IS AN MOT CERTIFICATE VALID FOR? An MOT certificate is usually valid for 12 months from the expiry of your previous certificate instead of 12 months from the day of the test. This is important to remember so that you aren’t driving your car when the MOT has expired. You can find this expiry date on your existing MOT test certificate.
For more information, visit the Kwik Fit website here.
Cars over three years old must by law pass a yearly MOT test to show they are roadworthy. There are some exemptions, including on classic cars first built or registered more than 40 years ago.
Cars that are less than three years old do not need to have an MOT test.
If it is time for your vehicle to have an MOT test then there is no better place to turn to than Kwik Fit – the UK’s No. 1 MOT tester.
The Kwik Fit website offers an easy-to-use online booking service, which allows drivers to book in at one of the 500 MOT test centres across the UK, many of which are open seven days a week.
During the MOT test, a broad range of vehicle safety checks will be completed by a DVSA-approved examiner, including lights, tyres, seatbelts and emissions. For a full list of what is included in an MOT when you have your test at Kwik Fit, click here.
If the vehicle passes, the tester will provide you with a pass certificate. They will also separately list and inform you of any ‘advisory’ or ‘minor’ items that will require attention in the near future so you can keep an eye on them.
TOP TIP: If your service is due at the same time as your annual MOT test, why not save time – and money – by combining the two. Kwik Fit offers a combined service and MOT that allows you to avoid the extra hassle of taking your car to both an MOT and service centre, while also saving time because both can be carried out in a single appointment. You can find out more on their website.
Service vs MOT: What’s the difference (and do I need both)?
A service and MOT test are both essential but are very different. Crucially, an MOT test does not check the general mechanical condition of the vehicle.
WHAT IS A SERVICE? A service is a vehicle inspection based on guidelines set out by your vehicle manufacturer rather than the DVSA that keeps your car in a reliable, safe and fully-functioning condition. In some ways an MOT test and service are quite similar and both include checks on tyres, brakes and seatbelts. However, a service is more thorough and includes the replacement of some parts, primarily the engine oil, to maintain the smooth running of your car.
WHAT IS AN MOT TEST? An MOT test is an annual inspection of your vehicle that is required by law. It follows a strict checklist of criteria set out by the DVSA that determines if your vehicle is fit for purpose and in roadworthy condition. Your vehicle may require additional work in order to pass your MOT but the test itself does not include any repairs or replacement parts.
HOW TO MAKE BEDTIME LESS STRESSFUL
Routine is king: The best way to help your little one settle at night, stay asleep, and even stay in bed longer is to make sure you have a bedtime routine, which might include a bedtime story
Parents everywhere know the struggle of trying to get a restless child to sleep at night. But what can you do to make bedtimes a little bit easier?
Mummy bloggers and parenting experts offer up plenty of tricks that worn-out mums and dads can try – and there’s sure to be one that works for you and your family.
Establish a routine: One thing most parenting experts highlight is the importance of establishing a routine. Studies have shown that not only do kids with regular nightly routines fall asleep more quickly; they are less likely to wake up during the night and stay asleep on average over an hour longer too. The key to a successful routine is repetition. Try and do the same thing at the same time, every night, whether that is a bath, bedtime story or brushing teeth.
Make the bedroom a gadget-free zone: Removing tablets, TVs, game consoles and phones is a non-negotiable, according to many parenting experts. Having a source of stimulating blue light means we’re actually telling our brains to ‘wake up’, which is not what you want to be doing when trying to get your little one to sleep. One idea is to create a ‘gadget box’ in another area of the home where your child can put their screens before going to the bedroom. You might also want to think twice before giving them their own TV in their bedroom as it makes it more difficult to regulate screen time.
Play games in the bedroom: Playing games like peek-a-boo or hide-and-seek in the bedroom not only allows children to exercise their brain, but also allows them to become more familiar and comfortable with the room they associate with bedtime. Seeing their mum or dad exploring every corner of the space with them will also help eliminate any sense of fear or uncertainty. However it is important for children to have time to rest after a period of play and fun, so make sure to incorporate play time earlier in the day.
Pay attention to the decorations: Just like adults, children are impacted by their surroundings, and nowhere is this more important than in their bedroom. The room should be a place for rest and relaxation so consider including prints or decorations of calming and soothing scenes like a waterfall, forest or beach. Mummy bloggers on social media have lots of ideas on how to decorate a child’s room on a budget, such as using Ikea spice racks as children’s book shelves to keep a bedroom neat.
HOW TO CHANGE A TYRE
Eight steps to success: Kwik Fit released an eight-step guide outlining exactly how to change a tyre so you don’t come unstuck in your next hour of need
Changing a tyre is something all drivers should know how to do, but the reality is it remains a mystery to many of us. Fortunately Kwik Fit, the UK’s leading tyre retailer, has simplified it down to eight simple steps that anyone can follow.
Before you start…
Assess your current situation and ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I stopped the car in the best place?
- Is it out of the way of other vehicles?
- Am I visible to other drivers?
- Can I safely change the tyre here
If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to all of the above, then you should apply the handbrake, put the hazard warning lights on and place your warning triangle on the road behind your car. Any passengers must get out of the vehicle.
Make sure you have the correct tools. You will need:
- A car jack
- A wrench
- A couple of wheel chocks
- A wheel nut key
- Your car handbook
- A torch (if you’re changing the tyre at night)
You should also check that your spare tyre is in good condition.
For more information visit Kwik Fit’s Tyre Information Hub here.
1. Use the wheel chocks to stabilise the vehicle: Wheel chocks should be put in place to prevent the car from rolling while it is jacked up. They should be positioned diagonally opposite the wheel that is flat. If you don’t have a chock, bricks or a large plank of wood will work in the same way.
2. Position the car jack: Each car is different, so you may need to refer to your car’s handbook to determine the best place to position the jack. If you can’t find this information, it’s preferable to put it in the lifting point that’s closest to the wheel you’re changing. Check that the head engages properly and extend the jack slowly until the vehicle has risen slightly but the wheels are still on the floor.
3. Loosen the wheel nuts: It’s safest to loosen the wheel nuts while the tyres are still grounded. This can be done using the wheel wrench. Apply it to the wheel nut and turn the wrench to the left. When the nut is loose enough to be removed by hand, keep it in position and move onto the next one. Do not remove the nuts yet.
4. Jack the car up: Now that you’ve loosened (but not removed) your wheel nuts, you can jack the car up fully. Do this slowly until the vehicle is around 10cm off the ground.
5. Remove the tyre: Remove the wheel nuts by hand, holding the weight of the tyre with your knee so it doesn’t fall off and hurt you. It’s a good idea to take the top nut off last. Once this final nut is removed, the tyre should slide out of position. Place it flat on the ground out of your way.
6. Fit the spare tyre: The spare tyre can be fitted by holding it in place and reattaching the wheel nuts. The nuts only need to be secured by hand for the time being, so tighten them until each one can support the weight of the tyre. Once this is done, lower the jack carefully until the wheel is just touching the ground.
7. Tighten the wheel nuts: The nuts need to be tightened again using the wrench. This time, turn the wrench to the right, making sure that each nut is fully secured.
8. Lower the car to the ground: It’s now safe to lower the car to the ground fully and remove the jack. Once this is done, recheck the nuts to ensure they’re still tightly secured. If you have a tyre pressure gauge, it’s a good idea to test the pressure of the spare tyre. If you don’t have one, drive to the nearest garage to check the air.
And remember: If you’re worried about the condition of your tyres, pay a visit to one of Kwik Fit’s 600 centres for a free tyre check and put your mind at ease. Click here to find your nearest centre.
Keeping up with Kwik Fit: People who make the company great
Kwik Fit Customer Liaison Manager Liz Armstrong
Kwik Fit Customer Liaison Manager Liz Armstrong, 48, of Steeton, West Yorkshire.
Liz knew from a young age that she wanted to work in the motoring industry and started working as a van manager delivering car parts after leaving school.
She moved into sales and management positions and joined Kwik Fit in July 2014.
Liz worked as a Business Development Manager for Kwik Fit and is now a Customer Liaison Manager.
The role offers Liz plenty of variety. She is responsible for promoting road safety in local communities, as well as working with local schools, fire services, police and local councils.
She also helps support the Kwik Fit centre staff in delivering a friendly and professional experience to all customers.
When we asked what she enjoys most about her role, Liz said it is her colleagues and the opportunities she has to meet new people at events.
Wanting to give back, Liz has also spent the last six years working with local and national charities. She said a highlight is the Christmas fundraising drive, which raises money to buy presents for local school children.
Family is an absolute priority for Liz and she has always lived in a small village near her parents, who she is very close to.
Outside of work, she enjoys travelling with her 19-year-old daughter Charlotte and spending time with family and friends.
The best piece of advice Liz has ever been given was shared by her parents, who taught her ‘always treat people like you want them to treat you’.