There’s far more to autumn than golden leaves and cooler weather. Autumn also brings the return of icy windscreens and low sun while driving. Here are some ways to stay ahead of the autumnal driving conditions and cope with the changes to the roads.
The law states that you should have more than 1.6mm of tread on all tyres. However we advise that 3mm is more safe during the colder months when the roads become wet and more grip is required. If your tyre tread is looking a little low, then now might be a good time to replace your tyres before the really cold weather sets in. Don’t forget that spare tyre in the boot or underneath the car. There’s far more debris on the road at this time of year and if you get a puncture then you’ll wat to know that your spare tyre is safe and legal so that you can get home.
Batteries and Bulbs
Your car’s battery will generally last for around 5 years before requiring replacement. If you notice small signs that your battery may be struggling now during the autumn weather, then there’s every chance that it may fail during the much colder months later in the year. Replacing an ageing battery now will save you the hassle of a potential breakdown when the weather is more adverse.
If you maintain your car properly then you should be checking that all your cars bulbs work every few weeks. Autumn signifies the beginning of the darker months so it’s a good idea to perform these bulb checks more often. Most bulbs are fairly easy to change, but check your vehicles handbook to see if you need to take it to the dealership. Don’t forget to check your brake lights and numberplate bulbs.
Antifreeze is important all year round, as it prevents corrosion of the coolant system. However at this time of year when the outside temperatures drop, antifreeze is even more important. Water can freeze in very low temperatures, so check that your antifreeze is concentrated enough to prevent this before your engine’s coolant freezes, expands and causes damage to your engine.
Many garages offer free or cheap winter checks, and antifreeze is always checked. It’s well worth taking advantage of these checks as they can save you and your car form a lot of potential problems during the colder months.
At this time of year the sun is much lower in the sky, which increases glare. In order to improve your vision while driving during the autumn months, take some time to do the following:
- Remove the buildup of hazy film by cleaning your windscreen on the inside and outside.
- Get any windscreen chips or cracks sorted, as they can cause the sun’s glare to be more intense.
- If your wiper blades are worn, damaged or more than a couple of years old then replace them.
- Use a quality screenwash additive that will help to remove the road’s dirt and grime from the windscreen.
- Make use of your car’s sun visors and keep a pair of sunglasses in the car.
- If you become dazzled by light while driving in autumn, slow down.
- Use your headlights to that you can see and be seen in all conditions.