During the course of the winter months, many drivers neglect car maintenance. This is because it is more of a hassle to check things with your car in colder weather and when it is likely to be darker in the evening. As spring comes around, it should prompt all motorists to conduct a few basic maintenance checks that they might have been putting off since autumn. You don't need to be a qualified mechanic to undertake any of the following checks, but they can help to make sure your car is running safely as well as efficiently when you are out on the road.
Tyre Pressure and Tread
All tyres drop in pressure the more you drive around on them. If you have not had time over the course of winter to check your tyre pressure at your local filling station, then get around to it in spring. The next time you fill up, refer to your owner's manual for the correct level of pressure and use the garage's air pump to make sure your tyres are sufficiently inflated. A tyre shop is the best place to head to if your tread has worn down. They will soon let you know if replacement tyres are needed or whether you can continue to drive around safely on your current ones. Alternatively, you can buy a tyre tread depth gauge for your own use.
All drivers use their headlamps more in the winter, even if they don't drive at night. Just the greater number of incidents of poor weather means that your car's external lights get turned on more. As a result, more bulbs are likely to come to the end of their working lives in winter than at other times of the year. In spring, check each of your lights is working correctly. You may need someone to help you – for example, to confirm your brake lights come on when you put your foot on that pedal. Remember to check your indicator and reversing lamps, too.
Front and rear-facing wiper blades are made from a rubber compound which wears down over time. You will have probably caused more wear on your wipers in winter than you did for the rest of the year because they have seen more use. If you cannot shift dust from your windscreen with a squirt of screenwash and two or three wipes of the blade, then replace them. Any streaks that are left on your screen make it more difficult to see potential hazards on the road in front of you. Streaking is particularly problematic when you see any glare from other road users' headlights at dusk. Wipers are easy to fit once you unclip the old ones from their corresponding arms.Share