With the milder weather approaching, and longer days, and a bit more time over the bank holiday weekend – it’s the ideal time to get outside in the fresh spring air to conduct some basic checks on your vehicle, as well as a bit of spring clean.
Here’s our top six spring vehicle checks and tips
1. Are your wipers prepared for the mixed forecast of showers and sun?
The winter months will have taken their toll on your wiper blades. They may have suffered damage from the freezing temperatures, and may not be clearing the screen as effectively as they should. Remember to check the front and back wipers, as well as your level of screen wash – and top up as necessary.
2. What condition are your tyres in?
Make sure you check the state of all tyres including the spare. The legal minimum tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tread, and a simple way to check is using the ‘20p test’. Under-inflated tyres can affect the wear, handling and grip, which is especially important during Spring’s somewhat unsettled weather.
3. Ensure you’re prepared for hotter weather ahead.
In preparation for the daily temperature rising, ensure your air conditioning is working properly, and it’s a good idea to use it regularly. It may also be the perfect time to get ahead and book it into the garage for a re-gas or clean. Air filters can also become clogged and it’s recommended to change your air filters every 10,000 to 15,000 miles.
4. Are your lights working?
Although we’ll now be enjoying longer days, your lights will have seen plenty of use over the winter, so it’s still vitally important to check that bulbs in the front headlights, running lights and rear lamps are operating at their full potential, and are clearly visible.
5. It’s time for a spring clean, inside and out.
If you haven’t had your car cleaned for a while, or the kids and pets have made a mess – why not give it the spring clean it deserves with a home wash and vac. It’s also a great idea to ensure you have antibacterial wipes and/or antibacterial gel in your car to give your hands and surfaces a good clean when arriving back at your vehicle after a trip outside.
6. Is your paperwork well organised and key dates noted?
It’s a good idea to spend some time to ensure all of your vehicle-related documentation, such as your MOT certificate, service book, insurance and any receipts for repair work are in one place. Remember to check and diarise key dates, so you don’t miss your MOT and ensure your servicing schedule is maintained, and you can sign up to an online MOT reminder service e.g. on the GOV.UK website. It’s also the ideal time for a clear out if you’re still holding onto receipts and other paperwork for cars you no longer own!
We hope you’ll find these spring checks and tips useful.
If you’re unsure of any aspects of vehicle maintenance, want to check the condition of your brakes, the health of your battery or you hear any unfamiliar noises coming from your car, don’t delay and ensure you get it checked out by your local garage. They often run special offers such as a Spring Check, which may be low-cost or even free of charge.
You can find a list of reliable garages on our Garage Finder who’ll be happy to help.