5 tips to get your car autumn-ready
As the seasons are about to change, now's a great time to put a bit of time aside now to prepare your car for more challenging weather. Here are five top tips you can do yourself to get your car back into shape for autumn.
Tip No.1 – Make sure all your lights work
As we head towards the back end of the year, it's more likely we’ll all need to use the lights on our cars more. And unless you’ve been driving at night recently, you may not have had to use them at all for a few months.
With that in mind, now’s the time to check that every light’s working properly. Check each in turn (indicators, side lights and headlights, brake lights, and reversing lights) and that the settings for each are working too (full beam and fog lights etc). If you’re unsure at all, get them checked at a garage where it’s also easier to get replacements fitted.
Tip No.2 – Clean your windscreen and windows
That glass might look clean enough in the light of a summer's day, but with the autumn comes the low sun and windows steaming up. That’s when you notice how clean (or not) your windscreen and windows really are.
Summer dust and squashed bugs build up over time, and sometimes trying to get rid of them while you’re driving with washer bottle spray and windscreen wipers, can make things worse. So before the poorer weather hits, give each window a good wash, inside and out.
Tip No.3 – Check your windscreen wipers
Wiper blades can get worn over the summer, and you may not have noticed as you've been using them less. You can test the condition of your wiper blades by squirting some water on the windscreen and switching them on. If they leave wet lines or areas untouched, it’s time to replace them.
If the blades are working ok, give them a wash with warm, soapy water to clean off the dust that quickly wears them out. Make sure your washer bottle is topped up too.
Tip No.4 – Inspect your tyres
Regardless of the time of year, tyres should be checked regularly. That way, you’ll see if there are any bald patches and can make sure the fronts and rears are the right tyre pressure. After all, all your tyres need to be at their best to deal with wet roads and greasy leaves.
Bald tyres and those in poor condition offer significantly less grip on wet roads and are more prone to ‘aquaplaning’. The legal minimum tread depth for cars is 1.6mm, however many manufacturers recommend 3mm. The RAC have some great advice on checking tyre depths here.
Tip No.5 – Tidy up inside your car
Give the inside of your car a good spring (summer) clean while the weather’s still nice. You might be surprised what’s under the seats and in the boot even after a few journeys. Having a messy car not only makes driving less enjoyable than it could be, it can also be a dangerous distraction - even the smallest water bottle could become a hazard if it rolls into the footwell while you’re driving.
And as no one really wants to sit on a seat with sand or crumbs on it, it's a good time to give everything a thorough vacuum too.
A couple of final tips…
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