Autumn is here. The days are starting to get shorter, leaves are starting to change to lovely colours of brown, gold and red, and the conkers are starting to fall on to the ground. For car owners, the cooler weather and more slippery roads will bring with it different driving challenges. It’s also a great time to get your car ready for not only autumn, but winter too. Here are our five tips to help make sure your car is ready for autumn:
1. Check Your Tyres
(Or get someone to do this for you 🙂 ) The combination of rain, leaves on the roads and as the weather continues to cool, ice makes the roads a much more slippery place. Make sure you check the tread on your tyres. The legal minimum is 1.6mm across the central ¾ tread around the circumference of the car. But many manufacturers recommend you change car tyres when your tread is 3mm in depth for safety reasons. Remember that if your car’s tyres are below the legal minimum you can be fined and get 3 points on your licence. So there are many reasons you should keep on top of this one. Here’s a handy video on Kwik Fit on tyre safety.
2. Check Your Battery
(Your local dealer can help). Batteries tend to get less effective in cooler weather. The worst can often happen with little or no warning and at the worst time (when you’re running late for work). The average life of a car battery is around 3 to 5 years only. If you’re not sure how to check yourself, then it might be worth popping along to your local franchise dealer, or when your car goes in for a service.
3. Be Aware Of Law Changes
This autumn there is a big change coming into effect when it comes to smoking in cars. As of 1st October 2016 it will be illegal to smoke in cars if you have a passenger under the age of 18 in the car with you. Both the driver and the smoker could be subject to a £50 on the spot fine each. This even applies if the driver themselves is 17 and have 17 year old passengers. You can read full details are on the Government’s website.
4. Check Your Anti-Freeze / Coolant
A lot of modern cars have a sealed cooling units, so you do not need to check the levels anymore, this should be picked up in your car’s service. But it is a good idea to check for leaks. For safety, always check when your car’s engine is cold. Use your car’s owner manual to identify where the cooling system is located and you will be able to check the level. You will have a minimum and a maximum level. If your car is below the minimum, make sure you ask for help from your local franchise dealer. The AA also have some great advice on this subject.
5. Organise Some De-Icer
Icy windscreens will be here before you know it. So make sure you have a good scraper and de-icer spray in your car ready for that first frosty morning. You can buy one from most supermarkets or petrol stations. The Metro has some dos and dont’s of car de-icing – don’t even think about using a CD case!