This is a sponsored post in collaboration with DAT Tyres
Our family is scattered across the UK so we often do long journeys. This means we need to keep our car and its tyres in good health so that it stays safe on the roads.
Thanks to the ever-unpredictable British weather, it has become imperative that our car remains healthy and fit for racking up the road miles.
Over the years we’ve had our share of car issues; from lose clutch pedals to head gaskets blowing on the motorway. A few years ago I hit a huge pothole which burst the tyre and inflicted some damage to the wheel.
Only last month my husband’s car tyre kept deflating and after taking it to the garage, the culprit was found to be a rusty Stanley knife blade embedded into the rubber.
Luckily the kids have never been with us when we’ve experienced car troubles but it’s highlighted to me how important it is to look after your family car and its tyres.
London-based DAT Tyres spoke about how important it is to look after your tyres as you would the rest of your car, warning that if tyres are neglected, it puts them at risk of sudden blowout, accidents and even a heavy fine.
So with that in mind, I’ve put together a car care checklist to help ensure your vehicle safely gets you from A to B.
Before heading out on a big journey, check the pressure of your tyres. If driving on motorways at high speeds then it can be dangerous if you don’t have the right pressure. Under or over-inflated tyres affect the control of your car, impact handling and steering and cause unpredictable car behaviour.
You also may end up using more petrol if your tyres don’t have the correct pressure and they may get worn out more quickly.
Wear and Tear of Tyres
We have found out firsthand what happens if you don’t regularly check your tyres. Worn tyres may look fine but they don’t perform as well.
Get into the habit of inspecting them frequently. Look for damage and use your hand to feel for anything that might be embedded in the rubber.
Other things you might be looking out for are signs of cracking on the side walls, bulges or cuts. Get your tyres checked by a professional if you notice anything unusual.
Make sure the tread levels on your wheels are within the right and legal levels. Tread depth is essential for good grip on wet roads and reducing the risk of aquaplaning. Check the depth using a 20p piece and always ask a professional if you are unsure. The AA has listed the legal tread depth requirements.
Get into the habit of checking your fluid levels on a monthly basis. It only takes a few minutes and can save you from any problems on your journey. Our car gets through a lot of engine oil so we always check it before we head out on a roadtrip.
Don’t forget to look at your coolant level, brake fluid level and windshield washer fluid. When undertaking these checks, always remember to switch off your engine.
Check Your Lights
You don’t want to get pulled over because your brake light is out or be driving at night, unable to see the road ahead because one of your headlamps has gone.
To check your lights, turn on the ignition key and go around the car checking the lights. Test that your brake lights work by reversing up to a reflective surface, such as a shop window or your garage at home (if you have one and it’s light in colour) and see whether they are working. If you have a friend with you, get them to check for you.
Sometimes the odd stone will cause damage to your windscreen. If you spot any chips, get them looked at immediately so a tiny crack doesn’t turn into a big one.
Your garage should be able to change the hydraulic reservoir when they service your car. You can also check it once a month to ensure the levels are what they should be.
All these tips are pretty straightforward but it can be easy to forget to carry them out. Remember to book your car in for a regular service and an MOT to ensure it stays road-legal and in good health.
How often do you give your car and tyres a health check?
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