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Is summer over?

car checks

Autumn is coming…

The days are growing shorter and even if you don’t want to admit it summer is coming to an end. That means you’ll be travelling in the dark, and if the weather in the UK runs true to form, in the rain. You may be ready for those conditions, but is your car?

Preparing your car is the sensible thing to do…

Here at Hilltop Garage Services Horndean we service and Mot many vehicles every day, some of those are definitely not ready for the adverse weather conditions we are likely to encounter soon. And some we advise people not to drive until repairs have been carried out because they are in a dangerous condition.

What are the main things to check…

Let’s take a look at some of the checks you should make on your car to prepare for the autumn:

Check your tyres…

Probably one of the easiest and most important things to check is your car’s tyres. They are the only contact you have with the road, so make sure that there is sufficient tread depth – at least 3mm – any less than that and your tyres may not be able to clear away water efficiently, risking skidding under braking and aquaplaning at speed.

Tyre depth gauges can be bought very cheaply. Also make sure your tyres are correctly inflated and don’t have any visible splits or damage.

Check your lights…

As the days get shorter you will need to use your lights more, so another easy check is to make sure they are all in working order. Get an assistant to operate the lights and walk around your car making sure they all work. Any that don’t work or aren’t bright should be repaired, they may just need new bulbs.

Your car’s handbook will help with information on how to change them. And don’t forget to keep the lenses clean, it just takes a quick wipe.

Check your wipers and washers…

When the rain starts falling you want your wiper blades to clear the screen effectively, with no smears, or juddering. Lift the blades and run your finger along the blade to check they are not split, if they are change them, again refer to the car’s handbook for guidance.

Check that your windscreen washer reservoir is topped up and contains winter screen wash, this stops washer fluid freezing on the frosty mornings. Check that the washer jets are correctly adjusted and the fluid is hitting the screen in the right place. Again adjustment should be fairly easy referring to handbook for help.

Check your heater…

You will need to use your heater to demist the windscreen once the cold mornings arrive, so make sure that the heater blows hot air and that it blows up through the demister vents onto the windscreen.

If you have air conditioning use it to clear the screen quicker. Also air conditioning helps to stop the car fogging up inside once you get going.

If there are any faults you may need to get some expert help here – the repairs are not really diy jobs.

Check your brakes…

If there have been niggling issues with your brakes, like pulling to one side or juddering, now is the time to get these faults rectified – before you need to use them in slippery conditions.

Brakes should only repaired and or replaced by an expert who has the skills and tools to do the job safely.

What if I’m not happy to carry out the checks…

Many of the checks can be done easily at home if you have a little bit of knowledge. Many local garages – like Hilltop Garage Services in Horndean will be happy to carry out the checks for you.

Better still why not book you car in for a winter service and get other things like oil levels and antifreeze content checked as well, giving you peace of mind knowing that your car is well prepared for the harsh conditions of autumn and winter?

Hilltop Garage Services in Horndean…

Hilltop Garage Services are located at 299 London Road, Horndean, Waterlooville, Hants, PO8 0JE. You can call us on 02392 596038 or contact us via email on our contact page.

Or better still just pop in and have a chat with one of our friendly members of staff who will be only too happy to help.