It’s officially autumn in the United Kingdom which means shorter days, colourful leaves, and various exclamations of ‘I can’t believe how dark it is!’. The typically rainy, cold and windy weather isn’t far off and this greatly affects driving conditions - low temperatures, wet or icy roads, limited visibility and quite possibly snow.
One important thing to think about however, is how to properly prepare your car for the autumn season. Read on to find our top 5 ways to prepare your car for autumn.
As one of the most used pieces of equipment in your car, keeping your windshield wipers in good condition is something that is often overlooked. If yours are worn down with age or use, replacing them in autumn is always a good idea as the new wipers will last you until next year. An easy way to know when to replace them is if they leave streaks, or large amounts of water, across your windshield.
The part that makes contact with the glass is made of silicone or rubber. If this has worn down, you will be left with the metal part that can seriously damage your windshield.
Wet and icy roads are very much on the horizon, so fully functioning brakes are vital to both your cars health and your own safety. This should be done around once a year, so getting your mechanic to look over your brakes during the autumn season is a good idea.
Ensuring your cars fluids are at the right level is something you should do as the temperature cools. This is because the fluids can become thick and congealed in cold weather, causing them to travel slower through the engine. Replacing your coolant is also important as the ratio of water to coolant should be higher in the summer months. In the winter however, the recommend ratio should be 40% water and 60% coolant.
This is something we always relay to our clients! As the roads become wet and icy, tyre tread grooves aid in removing water from the contact patch between the road and your tyres. This is important when braking, steering or accelerating. The legal minimum tread depth for cars in the UK is 1.6mm throughout a continuous band comprising the central three-quarters of breadth of the tread and around its entire outer circumference.
The tread on your tyres in the autumn should ideally be around 3mm and no less than 2mm. An easy way to check your tyre tread is to use a 20p coin. Watch the video for a demonstration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKnSCSXM7F0#t=107
Did you know: 40% of drivers have never checked the tread depth of their tyres and 20% do not know how to!
If you feel your tyres look slightly deflated, this could be down to the colder weather. The air pressure in your tyres drops along with the temperature. For instance, if a tyre is inflated to 2 bar (29psi) at 20°C, the pressure might only read 1.8 bar (26psi) at 0°C. If your tyre pressures are low when you check them in cold weather, re-inflate them to the vehicle manufacturers’ recommendations.
Get in touch with one member of our staff today, who will happily walk you through the whole procedure.