It’s coming… Is your car ‘Autumn ready’?

Keep your car in top condition with these tips from Logbook Loans…

Summer is over and we are moving into autumn. It’s that time of year where the air is feeling colder and the evenings are getting darker. We will gradually become more dependent on our cars to go about our daily business and to get out and about during evenings and weekends.

So now is a really good time to make sure that your car is in top condition, ready for autumn. Whatever wear and tear your car has had over summer, take time to check that everything is in good working order and will not let you down over the next few weeks and months.

Here are 10 of the main things that Logbook Loans recommends you check on a regular basis:

 

  • Fuel

In autumn, with the colder and darker nights, it is more important than ever to keep your car well fuelled. We can get into bad habits and always leave it until the last minute to top up with fuel, when the warning light is on and there are only so many miles of fuel left. But by doing this you run the risk of running out of fuel at a bad time and maybe even getting stranded in the dark. 

The other advantage of buying fuel well in advance is that you can shop around to take advantage of special offers rather than just going to the first garage you see. So as well as being good for your car, and safer for you, you can save money by being organised about buying your fuel.

 

  • Lights

It’s really important to check all your lights regularly, but particularly as the darker evenings are approaching. Remember to check brake lights and number plate lights as well as headlights. Replace any bulbs as needed and deal with damage or cracks. Also make sure you clean your lights well so that they can function at their best.

 

  • Oil

It’s important to check your oil level regularly:  if you wait until the warning light comes on you may cause damage to your engine. Be aware that cars can get through as much as a litre of oil every 1,000 miles and make sure you check regularly depending how much mileage you do. Top your oil up regularly and it should also be completely changed every time your car is serviced.

 

  • Fluids

As well as checking engine oil, there are other fluids in your car to be checked. These include:

  • Coolant
  • Washer fluid
  • Brake fluid
  • Transmission fluid

These fluids help to keep your car running smoothly. Each has a specific way to check it, so read your car instructions to learn how to do this but ask for help if needed.

 

  • Wiper blades

Windscreen wiper blades can often get dry and brittle during the warm summer weather then crack, and this can cause them not to function fully. So if they don’t seem to be working properly or are streaking or squeaking then get them replaced. 

 

  • Windscreen

To avoid autumn glare on the screen, make sure you clean your windscreen thoroughly both inside and out, to remove any hazy film that has built up. Also inspect the glass for scratches and chips and get these sorted out as they can intensify the sun’s glare, and also turn into cracks if left unattended. 

Check that the drain holes from your windscreen are cleared regularly from dirt and debris such as dead leaves. Otherwise they could become blocked and prevent water draining away effectively. 

Also, as we saw earlier, keep your screen wash topped up are you are likely to use more during autumn and want to make sure that your screen is always as clean and clear as it can be.

 

  • Heater

You may not have used your car heater for a while but as the days are getting colder you need to ensure that the heater system in your car is working properly. It not only keeps you warm but is an essential part of demisting and defrosting the front and rear windscreens and ensuring that you can see properly. So do check that the heater is blowing out warm air and that all the different settings are working properly.

 

  • Electrics

Now is a good time to check all the other electrics in your car. These vary enormously between makes and models but the most common ones are:

  • Ignition
  • Electric windows and mirrors
  • Electric and heated seats
  • Air conditioning
  • Alarm
  • Immobiliser
  • Navigation and tracking devices
  • Infotainment systems
  • Towbars and lifting mechanisms

It is important that you get these features checked and ensure that they are working safely and efficiently.

 

  • Battery

It’s essential to check how well your battery is working. Is it charging fully and holding that charge? If there’s any sign that your battery’s struggling, it may let you down during the winter, when it’s colder and your car needs more battery power to get started. 

A typical battery life is around five years but if there is any doubt then replace it now to avoid potential breakdowns later on. 

 

  • Tyres

Last but definitely not least, check your tyres regularly. You need to make sure that they have no damage and have sufficient tread. It is illegal to have a tread depth of less than 1.6mm around the entire circumference of the tyre, and the AA actually recommend at least 3mm of tread for winter. This will mean that the tyre tread will help your car to grip the road better. It is important because roads get more slippery in autumn and winter due to any combination of more rain, layers of dead leaves and potentially frosty/icy conditions. 

It is also essential that your tyres are always inflated to the correct pressure. Check them every couple of weeks and inflate/deflate as needed. If you drive around with underinflated tyres, this can result in excessive and uneven wearing of the tread. It can also increase rolling resistance, which will burn more fuel and increase CO2 emissions. But if your tyres are overinflated they can wear a lot quicker and will not grip the road as effectively, causing longer braking distances.

 

So as autumn approaches please do take the time to check that your car is in good working order and will keep you and your family safe on the road over the next few weeks and months. This is important and worth the effort. If you find any issues that you need to pay for but you are short of money after the summer, then do get in touch with us at Logbook Loans. We offer a range of short term and online loans, that may be able to help bridge the gap. Click here for more information or to apply online.