While simple maintenance inspections should be built into your car care routine throughout the year, they are even more essential with the change in weather that this season brings. Here are five areas you can check now, to keep you on the right road:
Fallen leaves and rain make for tricky travel conditions anyway, but add worn tyres into the equation and you’re taking a risk on every journey.
Check your tyre tread: the legal minimum is 1.6mm, but 2mm is considered much safer during these months of the year. If they’re less than that, you should get them changed.
Autumn brings heavy rain, and a clear windscreen is vital for safe driving. If your windscreen wipers are dragging across the glass and leaving smears or streaks, then you should replace the blades. Get the windscreen washer topped up, and be prepared for even worse weather by keeping an effective de-icer and scraper somewhere convenient.
The clocks will be going back at the end of October, making the afternoons darker and meaning it’s time to ensure your car lights are working properly. As well as giving each one a wipe to remove any lingering dust or grime, go round and check each one on every setting, including low beam and full beam, fog lights, brakes and indicators. If any are flickering, not bright enough or not coming on at all, get them changed before you head out into the night.
This one isn’t just to warm you up on chilly days (although that’s obviously important, too!), but also so you can be sure your windscreen and windows will clear efficiently when you get in the car first thing in the morning. So, before the thermometer drops, get in your car and turn everything on – air conditioning, heating, climate control – and check that all the vents are pushing out heat in the right direction, and at the right temperature.
Talking of heating, having it on all the time makes your car battery work harder. It can be a good idea to get the battery checked at a garage before the cold weather begins, so you know it’s fully charged and working correctly. It helps to clean the battery connections from time to time as well, as this gives your car an extra hand when starting up.
(Above: get your car ready for autumn)