6 car checks to carry out before the festive season

Driving home for Christmas can come with its own set of unique stress factors, but an unexpected breakdown would certainly turn the journey into a nightmare.

According to a report from the AA, one-third of all UK car breakdowns occur during the festive period, with British motorists spending £156 on average for repairs over Christmas.

The vehicle experts at Ed-Lock have put together six simple checks you should undertake now to avoid a Yuletide disaster. Here’s what you need to know whether you’re heading to see family or for a magical staycation this winter.

Check your tyre tread depth

Legally, your tyres need to have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, although when the winter weather means snowy, icy roads, it’s recommended to increase that to 3.0mm and most experts suggest getting them replaced once they drop below this figure. To get a good indication of the legality of your tread depth, you can try the 20p method.

Top up your oil

A third of UK vehicles inspected by mechanics are deemed to have “dangerously low oil,” which could lead to huge engine damage or a breakdown during your journey. It takes a minute to do and doesn’t require any help, simply pull out the dipstick and make sure the fluid reaches the correct indicator line.

Cool your engine

Engine coolant is a mixture of antifreeze and water, and is needed to prevent your engine from freezing during colder temperatures. Upon inspection, if yours doesn’t sit between the minimum and maximum levels on the tank, take your vehicle to a garage before it becomes a much more serious problem.

Inspect your battery

Checking your battery is a basic part of vehicle maintenance, but in cold weather, its efficiency can be significantly reduced. 27 per cent of breakdowns last winter resulted directly from battery issues and the majority of mechanics offer quick and affordable checks.

Assess your wipers

Snow, ice, grit and other debris won’t only affect your visibility while driving, but also could damage your windscreen wipers. So, take a close look for any splits along the blades and if you do come across any, replace them as soon as possible.

Clean your lights

When undertaking a touring trip during the winter period, visibility is much more crucial. Clean your front and rear lights to ensure maximum brightness and don’t forget to inspect your indicators – simply replace any bulbs that need changing.

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