Spring has sprung!
Many of us are eager to get out and enjoy the milder temperatures, driving around with our mates or taking the family to a country park - we don’t blame you, we are too! But don’t forget amidst all the excitement that your car likely needs a bit of a spring clean! In this post we will be looking at some of the things you need to check over, or put into practice, to make the most of your motor over the warmer months. Let’s begin, shall we?
General car care
Looking after your car can seem daunting, that’s why we think it’s best to just talk about the subject in general, so we don’t overload you with information and scare you off. Also, before we begin, we’re not pointing fingers here; many of us here have been responsible for at least one of these, so we’re speaking from general experience.
The top culprits in this category are:
This includes windscreen wash, engine oil, brake fluid, coolant and power steering fluid (if applicable). Now, we understand this already sounds confusing, but a quick cross-reference with your car manual whilst standing over your bonnet can go a long way in familiarising yourself with the location of each. Also, keeping an eye on these every fortnight can save you any nasty surprise charges at your next service.
Many of us neglect our tyres, even though they are one of the main things keeping us safe on the roads. This is why it’s always good to keep an eye on the general condition and especially the tread depth of each tyre – this should be checked every month.
*The 20p test - quick and easy way of checking the tyre tread of your car's wheels. Just take a 20p coin and insert it into the tread grooves on the tyre. If you can't see the outer band on the coin, your tyres are above the legal limit. However, if you can see the band and that section of the coin is still visible, your tyres could be unsafe and require attention
Equally as important as tyre tread, tyre pressure is specific to each car model and can seem like a daunting task; however, once you make a note of the required PSI from your manual, it’s just a matter of punching that amount into an air machine at service station and filling each tyre, just like you would on your favourite bicycle as a kid – this check should also be carried out every month.
Keeping it tidy
We all have that one friend whose car interior looks like a lost and found the department, but if you’re honest with yourself, is your car as tidy as you would like it to be? No? Well, spring is the perfect time to have a big clean out of all the things cluttering up your interior. Similar to a clean home, keeping your car clean (that means discarding that year-old coffee cup) can help you feel less stressed out whilst driving and improve the overall journey for you and your passengers.
Kicking the phone habit (for good)
While this may seem like an obvious habit to kick, a 2016 RAC study
shows that a staggering 31% of drivers have admitted to using a mobile device while driving and if that isn’t shocking enough, 16% of the same survey were found to have actually sent a text or email whilst behind the wheel.
Now, it’s not breaking the news that this is a big problem but the consequences have recently gotten tougher and could land you with 6 points and a £200 fine. So ignore that text or call until it’s safe to pull over, or you reach your destination.
Brush-up on parking
We know what it’s like; you may have one particular manoeuvre that you dread and haven’t tackled since you passed your test. But, if you want to visit new places and make the most of the warm weather you’re going to have to learn!
Now is the perfect time to practice any tricky manoeuvres and feel more comfortable in those tight parking spaces.
To start off we recommend:
- Reverse parking in a large spacious car park to begin with
- Go out of your way to find an empty space that you can parallel park in
- Look into different techniques used by driving instructors – reference points always help!
So now you know what you need to do to keep your car in order, whilst brushing up on your driving skills and keeping yourself safe as you head out on adventures! We hope you gathered some knowledge and inspiration from the above points and will be making the most of your motor over the coming months - if you’re not doing so already!