With Christmas and the New Year just around the corner, many families will be relying on their cars to get around in order to spend their holiday time with relatives and friends, not to mention last minute Christmas shopping and Christmas parties. With so many people to see and places to be, nobody wants to get caught out by problems with their car – so now is a great time to do some simple checks to ensure that your festive season goes without a hitch.
1. Check your lights
With December being the darkest time of the year, a lot of your Christmas driving is likely to be in the dark – and that’s not to mention the typical weather of the season. Be sure to check your lights are all working on a regular basis. This will help to keep you and other road users safe, as well as helping to make sure you don’t get delayed on your journeys by your local traffic police. It is recommended to always keep a set of spares with you, just in case.
2. Check your screenwash and wipers
Although in this part of the world we are lucky enough to avoid freezing weather for most of the time, low overnight temperatures can still be enough to cause your screenwash to freeze if it is not suitable for winter. If you topped up your screenwash in summer – or if you don’t recall when it was last changed – it may well be at risk of freezing, meaning you could be in danger on the road should you suddenly need to clean your windscreen. Make sure you replace your fluid with one that is designed for winter to avoid problems. It is also worth checking that your wiper blades are in good working condition too, as old or damaged wiper blades can also affect your visibility, putting you and others at risk.
3. Check your battery
Nobody wants to be late for a party or marooned and unable to get home afterwards, because of a car that won’t start. The most common cause of cars not starting in winter is a flat battery. Take a moment to have a quick visual inspection of your battery. If it appears to have any cracks or bulges, then it is advisable to get it changed immediately. Car batteries generally last for around five years, so if your battery is older than this or you are unsure of when it was last changed, a battery change could prove to be a valuable investment.
4. Check your oil
Your engine oil is essential to keeping your car healthy, and this is especially the case in winter. Low engine oil can cause increased wear on the engine and over time this can actually reduce the lifespan of your vehicle. Take a moment to check your oil level and top up with the manufacturer’s recommended oil before the festive season starts to avoid problems.
5. Check your tyres
Your tyres are one of the most important safety features on your car, and should always be checked regularly. We recommend that you conduct a visual inspection of all your tyres before your Christmas break begins. Make sure that they have a legal level of tread all round, and no signs of excessive wear or damage. If you notice any bulging, splits or uneven wear, it is advisable to pop into a tyre shop and get a replacement. In the case of uneven wear, it may also be worth having your tracking checked. Also be sure to check that all of your tyres are at the correct pressure. As well as being important for your safety, this will also help to maximise your fuel efficiency.
For all your winter car care needs, pop into your local Tyreland fitting centre and we will be happy to make sure that everything is in order with your car in time for Christmas. Call today on 01 860 20 20 to find your nearest location and learn more about our latest offers.
We wish all of our customers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and look forward to keeping you on the road in 2019.