Get your car right for the lighter nights!
Sort your car out with quick cash from Logbook Loans…
Spring has sprung: and when the clocks go forward it means those lovely lighter nights are here.
It’s the time of year when we feel like coming out of hibernation and getting out and about a lot more. Instead of snuggling down for a cosy evening in we begin to feel like going out for a drive, perhaps to a pub or restaurant a bit further afield from our usual haunts.
It’s the same at weekends: the longer days and milder weather make us decide to finally go and visit that country park or stately home we’ve always meant to go to – or perhaps even head to the coast.
But all of these great ideas assume that we have a reliable car. And – being honest – most of us tend to neglect our cars over winter.
So what can we do to make sure our cars are ready for getting out and about this spring? Here are our Ten Tips to get your car right for the lighter nights:
- Spring clean
One of the first things to do is to give your car a really good clean. Dirt and grime builds up over the winter months, especially if your car has been exposed to snow and rain. Read our articles on how to thoroughly clean your car inside and out to get your car into really good condition. Then set reminders on your phone to make sure you give it a regular clean from this point forward.
Once your car is nice and clean you need to check your bodywork for any damage. It is really easy to pick up dents and scratches through no fault of your own, particularly during the winter months. If you spot any damage get it sorted out quickly, otherwise it will not only spoil the appearance of your car but could cause it to lose value. Small dents, scratches and rust patches can often be remedied quite easily – seek advice from your nearest car store or garage.
Also now your car is clean take a good look at your tyres. Make sure there are no cuts or tears, and that if there is any wear your tread is still within legal limits. Also take the time to check your tyre pressures and adjust as needed. It is a good idea to get into the habit of checking your tyres every couple of weeks to make sure they are the best possible condition to keep you safe on the road.
Now is also a good time to check that all your lights are working properly. As well as headlights, check your indicators, reversing lights, brake lights and fog light. If there is any damage to the lights such as significant cracks then make sure you get them repaired. Also take the time to replace any blown bulbs.
- Engine oil
Check that your engine oil is at the correct level – you can do this using the the dipstick provided. Top up as needed. You need to do this every couple of weeks and always before embarking on a long journey.
Also check that your coolant level is in the range between the MIN and MAX marks. If the level is too low then top it up using a 50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze. In an emergency you could just use clean tap water, but then remember to make up the antifreeze concentration afterwards: it is important to have antifreeze even for normal driving conditions.
- Screen wash
It is quite common for screen wash to run out over the winter months as we tend to use our windscreen wipers a lot more. But it is essential to keep screen wash topped up not just for convenience but also it’s against the law for the screenwash reservoir to be empty. So check your screen wash levels regularly and keep it topped up with a good screen wash additive that will clear grime and keep it from freezing.
- Windscreen and wipers
Make sure you check your windscreen for signs of damage, and do this on a regular basis. If you do spot any small chips then it’s important to get them repaired as soon as possible. Otherwise they are likely to grow and crack, and your windscreen may need to be replaced. Also check that your windscreen wipers are fully functional. Even if they are, these should be replaced around once a year to prevent smearing.
- Power steering
If your car has power steering you need to check the hydraulic fluid levels at least once a month and top up as needed. If there isn’t enough fluid, you may find that steering becomes more difficult. You also risk damaging either the pump or rack or pinion in the power steering system. Using a good quality fluid will also help to preserve seals and prevent leaks, therefore ensuring a long system life.
- Be Equipped!
Last but not least, check that your car is properly equipped for any emergencies before you start going out and about this spring. You need to know whether it has a spare wheel, and how to change that wheel (plus the key for locking wheel nuts if your car has those). Also have a general toolkit and first aid kit in the car and supplies of car fluids such as screenwash if you are planning a long journey. And don’t forget items that your passengers would need in an emergency such as blankets, bottled water, snacks, in-car phone charger, torch, dry clothing.
The above tips should help you to get your car in good condition for spring. If you then take a few minutes each week to do these things on a regular basis this will be well worth it in terms of hassle free driving during the good weather that we hope will come our way!
If you need some quick cash to get your car up to speed then why not take a look at our range of loans to see how we may be able to help.
Check back here soon for more financial and lifestyle tips from Logbook Loans.