This article is brought to you by Unipart Autostore.
It’s pretty clear that the weather is becoming cooler, and the first signs of autumn are already here. As we all enjoy watching the leaves turn and switch the heating on to keep warm, there are some essential checks we should all be doing to make sure our cars are running smoothly and safely throughout autumn and winter.
Here, we take you through some essential inspection and maintenance “must do” tasks to get you through the colder months with ease.
Wipers and windscreens
Heavy rain can lead to poor visibility, and with the prediction of bad weather to come, anything you can do to make sure you can see the road well is a must for safety. Carefully check your windscreen wipers for drag – if they’re leaving streaks or “bouncing” then it’s time to replace your wiper blades. Don’t just put up with it – if you’re driving in heavy rain, or a vehicle close to you gives you a spray, then you could be unable to see at all if your wipers aren’t working.
In addition to this, invest in a good de-icer and scraper as being unprepared for that first icy morning means you may you an item that scratches your windscreen. It’s also a good time to get any chips repaired, as one bump in the road can turn a chip into a large crack.
Poor ventilation in your car can cause bad visibility too, and if your car windows are steaming up, making it difficult to see, you could be at risk of becoming distracted whilst trying to clear them – never a good thing when you need to concentrate.
Air-conditioning is great for demisting windows as is dehumidifies the air rapidly. Re-gassing your aircon may help to fix misted windows, allowing you to concentrate on the road and nothing else.
Brakes and brake parts
It’s obviously important to make sure your brakes are working to their full capacity, especially when the road surfaces are wet and starting to get icy. Check and change your brake fluid where necessary (there’s usually a level indicator on the brake fluid reservoir) and never drive when it’s at a minimum. In addition to this, checking your brake discs is a good idea – driving with well-worn brakes is never a good idea – and you can even replace these yourself if you know what to do.
As the weather turns gloomier and rain and wet leaves mix on the roads, driving with tyres that are not in good condition can be dangerous. Have a good look over the tyre to check for wear –minimum tyre tread is currently 1.6mm (but 2mm is recommended as far as winter driving is concerned) – any lower than that and you’ll need to get them changed. You should also check the sidewalls for damage at this point too, making sure you have any gashed or damaged tyres replaced.
It’s essential as the nights grow darker to perform a full check of your headlights, brake lights and indicators – one faulty light and you could end up with a damaged car at best if other drivers can’t see you properly! Bulbs don’t have to cost the earth and a timely replacement could keep you safe.
Essential maintenance checks should be performed regularly on your vehicle, especially at this time of year when weather and light combine to produce some pretty tricky driving conditions, so stay safe this autumn by giver your car the once over, looking carefully at the tips above. It may not be nice to go out in inclement weather to check and maintain the car, but these essential checks could help you drive safer this season.