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Whatever your essential journey, make it SAFE

Many vehicle owners have been driving much less than usual this winter, with trips being limited to a small number of essential journeys. Now that schools have opened up, it’s the perfect time to follow these four steps to make sure your vehicle is in tip top condition:

  • Service or Health Check if needed
  • Air in tyres
  • Fill up screenwash
  • Examine lights and tyre tread

 

Service or Health Check if needed

For peace of mind, you might want to consider getting your car serviced, or booking in for a vehicle health check. You can even choose to book your MOT early if you received an MOT extension and would like to go back to your pre-exemption date. If you’ve noticed an issue with your brakes or have a warning light displaying on your dashboard, it’s definitely time to get your vehicle checked by a professional.

Air in tyres

When a vehicle isn’t in use, tyres can start to deteriorate or lose air. It’s essential to check the air in your tyres to make sure it’s at a safe level before you hit the road, you should also check each tyre for any visible damage such as cuts or bulges.

Fill up screenwash

Making sure your screenwash is topped up is a quick and easy to do, simply lift the bonnet while your engine is cold and check the level of your washer fluid, topping up if needed. Remember, using washer fluid instead of water will help to provide a better clean and will prevent the fluid from freezing in winter.

Examine lights and tyre tread

To check your bulbs are in working condition, turn all of your lights on and take a walk around your vehicle giving the bulbs a gentle tap to see if any are loose. You can check your brake lights by reversing up to a garage door or window before pressing the brake pedal – you should be able to see the reflection in your rear-view mirror. Found a blown bulb? Your vehicle handbook will tell you how to change it, or you can contact your local Centre for advice. 

Checking the condition of your tyres before a drive is key to your safety, especially in wet or icy conditions. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm – this can be checked in a couple of ways. Either turn your steering wheel fully left or right and check the treadwear indicators in the tyre grooves, if they are level with the depth of your tread then it’s time to change your tyres. Alternatively, place a 20p in the groove of your tyre - if the tread is deeper than the outer band of the coin, then the tread depth is still legal. Always make sure you check your tread depth is even around your tyre.

For more tips and advice visit our Tyre Advice and Car Maintenance Advice sections. If your vehicle is due an MOT, take a look at our guide to Pre MOT Checks.