Autumn Car Checks/ Driving Advice,
With winter just around the corner a few checks carried out by a local garage or by yourself if you are able, could save you having a problem later.
Check all tyres for condition, pressure and tread depth, make sure there are no cuts or tears to the sidewall and tread area of the tyre, we would recommend at least 3mm of tread for Autumn/Winter motoring as you are much more likley to encounter poor weather so if the treads are getting low renewing them now before the colder weather sets in.
Although 1.6mm is the minimum legal level for tyres in the UK. Recent tests by Auto Express Magazine and Continental Tyres at the Motor Industry Reasearch Association test site have shown that wet stopping distances at 70mph on a family car such as a Ford Focus, are on average 44m Shorter with tyres at 3mm compared to tyres with the legal minimum of 1.6mm, which is a significant distance equivalent to 9 car lengths.
Low level sun in autumn can cause dazzle, making sure the windscreen and windows are clean inside and out helps to reduce this.
It is suprising how much build up occurs on the inside of your windscreen.
Any chips or scratches should be looked at. Many fully comprehensive policies will now cover the cost of a stone chip repair.
Check wiper blades are in good condition as worn blades can cause a streaking effect and can reduce visablity in heavy rain as they are not clearing the water as effectivly as they should.
Add a washer fliud into the water used for cleaning the windows, it not only keeps the windows cleaner , but also lowers the temperature at which it will freeze in frosty weather.
Batteries are one of the most common causes of breakdown throughout the year, but particularly in the autumn/winter months when elctrical use is higher. If there are any signs of the car not starting properly when cold now, it will almost certanly let you down at some time during the winter.
Why not look at changing the battery now and aviod the problems of being stranded.
Regularly check the lenses of your lights are clean(carry a cloth in the car) particularly when the roads are dirty with snow slush and grit. Dirt dims the light shining through making it harder for you to see and be seen.
Check all bulbs regularly, not forgetting number plate lights. Carry some spare bulbs if you are able to change them yourself.
As we mentioned in our "Summer car checks" antifreeze is important all yearroundas it contains additives to prevent corrosion and improve summer cooling too. It should be checked to make sure you have the correct concentration for cold weather, as topping up the radiator with just water will reduce how effective it will be.
If in doubt get a garage to check for you -many offer cheap or even free winter checks at this time of year.
For further advice on tyres or for a free tyre check contact