It will be here sooner than you might hope, and it is important to make sure our cars are prepared. We will look at specific things to check as the days start to cool down and the weather changes, but for now we will look at some of the basic checks we can do in preparation now.
Tyres – Tyres are one of the most important safety features on a car as they are the only point of contact between the vehicle and the road surface. Checking your tyres regularly are crucial to safe running, making sure they have enough tread, that the wear is even, and that there are no signs of damage.
Remember also to check the pressure of your tyres, consulting your manual or the plate that is affixed to most modern cars telling you the optimum inflation.
Also, don´t forget the spare. Make sure that is okay too, and that all the tools are in place.
Running a car is an expensive operation but one thing that shouldn´t be scrimped on are tyres.
Lights – We are about 6 weeks away from the clocks changing, but you may have already noticed it getting darker earlier. Lights are a necessity on a car and they must all be working. We have spoken about this in length before, just scroll down our Facebook page to read it again, but now is a good time to make sure that all your lights are working.
Remember also that you no longer have to carry a spare set of bulbs in the car. That law changed around a decade ago. The reason is that they are not the easiest thing to change anymore, and so it is always a good idea to get a professional to change them if needed.
Brakes – It is important to check your brakes regularly too. If you hear any strange noises when you apply the brakes, such as a grinding for example, get them checked immediately. The same applies if you notice a reduction in their performance. Brakes are a crucial element of the car, for obvious reasons, and so it is vital they work to their best ability.
Liquids – Your car doesn´t just need petrol or diesel to work, it also needs other fluids too. Some of them we should leave to the professionals, such as the braking or cooling system, but others we can check ourselves.
The oil level should be checked regularly. This is where the dipstick is used. You should do this when the engine is cold and on a level surface.
You should also check the screen wash reservoir, and as winter is approaching you might want to consider a change in the type of fluid, one more appropriate to the colder months.
Windows – All windows must be kept clear. The only items allowed to be displayed in the windscreen are the ITV sticker (just the one), the eco badge, and the car share label. You should check the windows for any signs of damage, such as chips. Many small flaws can be repaired, but it is important to get them fixed before they become a bigger and potentially dangerous problem.
If any of your windows are tinted, remembering that you can´t tint the front windows, make sure that the tinting is not bubbled or damaged in any way.