The weather has turned and it is officially autumn. Did you know that in October there is a 21% increase in accidents on our roads? The main reason for this is that drivers have not adapted both their driving style and their vehicles to the change in weather conditions. One of the ways to protect yourself from danger is to make sure that your car is ready for the decline in temperature and treacherous roads. Here are the must-have autumn car checks you need.
HERE ARE OUR TOP 5 AUTUMN CAR SAFETY CHECKS
There are 5 key things that we, at Cross Lane Garage, feel you need to check to safeguard you and your valuable passengers from the road-dangers in colder weather. Read on and adapt your car for the chill now!
(1) CHECK YOUR TYRE TREAD
If you only check one thing this autumn, then make it your tyres (both points 1 & 2 here). These are always in direct contact with the road and they are key in your safety and overall driving experience. If your tyres are not in optimum condition then you will lose grip, manoeuvrability and braking power. Have a good look over your tyres to check for wear. The minimum tyre tread is currently 1.6mm, but we would recommend 2 -3mm as far as winter driving is concerned. The easiest way to test your tread is The 20p Test. Place the 20p flat in one of the grooves of the tread. If you can see some of the outer edges of the 20p then your tyres may be illegal.
Furthermore, worn tyres often result in significantly greater braking distances so put you and your passengers at risk.
You should also check the sidewalls for damage at this point too, making sure you have any gashed or damaged tyres replaced.
At Cross Lane Garage in Wakefield, we offer FREE Tyre Checks so if you want us to check your tread just pop in!
(2) CHECK YOUR TYRE PRESSURE
In autumn and winter, the temperature has a direct impact on your tyres. So, when the temperature drops the pressure in your tyres drops! So, you need to make sure your tyres are pumped up to your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressures at all times. With most modern cars this is just a case of checking in your onboard settings. But with older vehicles, this is a manual check process. To be safe, get into the habit of checking your tyre pressures regularly. The wrong tyre pressures not only leave you at risk but they also increase your fuel consumption (making your fuel bills more expensive) and ruin your tyres, causing them to wear out far more quickly.
Most importantly, incorrect tyre pressures affect the way your car handles the road conditions. Indeed, 6% of fatal accidents on UK roads are caused by under-inflated tyres. Ensure your tyre pressure is right this autumn, especially before long journeys.
If you want us to give you a FREE tyre pressure check in Wakefield, then please give us a call!
(3) CHECK YOUR BRAKES
It’s important to make sure your brakes are working to their full capacity, especially when the road surfaces are wet and slimy. In autumn and winter months we often find ourselves braking harder and more frequently, especially as the road conditions lead to longer braking distances. This excessively braking can also lead to damage, loss of braking efficiency and performance.
So, you need to keep an eye on your brakes. Take a look to see if your brake pads have worn down. If they are 3mm or lower, they will need to be replaced. Also, check and change your brake fluid. There is usually an indicator on the brake fluid reservoir for you to inspect.
If you need help with checking these just pop to your local garage. We at Cross Lane Garage in Wakefield provide free brake checks so feel free to pop by. We inspect your brake discs, pads and fluid to ensure they are safe. When it comes to your brakes, an early inspection can prevent the problem from getting any worse and avoid further more costly repairs.
(4) CHECK YOUR LIGHTS
Yes, this seems obvious but you would amazed how many of us forget about our external lights, especially when our vehicles have automatic lights.
As mornings and evenings grow darker you need to keep an eye on your headlights, brake lights and indicators – one faulty light and you could end up in an accident, especially if other drivers can’t see you properly! Light bulbs don’t have to cost the earth, and a timely replacement could keep you safe. Make sure you have a look at both the front and rear of your vehicle with the ignition turned on (along with the handbrake on, naturally!)
Do you have any concerns about your lights? If so, please drop in and see us at our garage in Wakefield. We offer FREE light checks and any replacement bulbs are cheap and quick to do.
(5) CHECK YOUR WIPERS
Heavy rain leads to poor visibility. So, anything you can do to make sure you can see the road well is essential for your safety. When it comes to your windscreen, you need to check that your windscreen wipers are working correctly on a regular basis. Do they drag or bounce? Are they leaving streaks? If so then maybe it’s time to replace your wiper blades. Some of us just put up with lazy wipers. But, if you’re driving in heavy rain or getting sprayed by the vehicle in front, this could become really frustrating, and dangerous, as you won’t be able to see.
If you need a second opinion on your windscreen wipers, then bring your car to us at Cross Lane Garage, just off Dewsbury Road in Wakefield. We can check your wipers for FREE!
Free Autumn Car Checks in Wakefield
Pop in today if you are near Wakefield and let us Autumn-proof your car, get in touch!