Easter Car Check

Easter Car Check

17 Apr

By Steph Savill

If you are lucky enough not to work over the actual Easter weekend, a four day weekend is a great opportunity for a short break. Whereas for families with school age children, you're probably better off organising any Easter holiday outside this busy weekend.

As Easter is late this year we're all hoping that the sun will shine and a holiday will be just the ticket after such a long winter.
 

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In my experience the most convenient way to travel is by car because this usually means from and to door to door. But traffic levels this Easter promise to be higher than ever because of unprecedented Brexit uncertainty so you'll need to plan your journey well in advance to avoid sitting in traffic jams. It makes sense to travel outside peak hours wherever possible and to take a proper map with you in case you need to divert from your SatNav instructions.

If it's been a while since you've checked your car or had it serviced, it makes sense to do this to avoid any breakdown en route which could be caused by simple maintenance neglect. That's not the only reason to check your car on a regular basis of course – if it's a while since you checked your tyres for example, they could be illegal and unsafe.
 

Tyres Matter Most

We encourage Club members to check the condition, tread and pressure of their tyres every month – and more often if they drive more than the average annual mileage of some 8000 miles.

Remember that your tyres are the only thing between your car and the road and that it's the driver who is always responsible for their condition - even if you ask your partner or Dad to check these for you. Heaven forbid you'd contribute to a road accident due to tyre neglect. There's no excuse either, when garages like Protyre will check your car tyres for free.
 
Having test driven various performance cars with tyres at 1.6mm tread (that's the legal limit) and 3mm, I know what difference this extra bit of tread makes to my car's grip and my braking confidence. So I always change my tyres at 3mm for my peace of mind.

Need a professional opinion?
Protyre offer Free Tyre Checks at all of their garages across the UK. Click the button below to book your vehicle in to your local Protyre garage and get peace-of-mind before you set off for your Easter adventure.

Free Tyre Check

As I see it, changing your tyres before they are illegal is like filling your car up with fuel before you need to – it doesn't cost you more in the end but you never need to suffer the stress of running a car on empty or worrying about illegal tyres.

Have a look at the Tyre Tread Chart to see how much life is left in your tyres – you'll be surprised to see how little braking life is left in older tyres.


 

General Car Maintenance

I use the mnemonic 'FLOWER' to help me remember what general car maintenance needs checking on my car.

This stands for:

F = Fuel
It's always best to fill up before you reach the motorway to take advantage of cheaper fuel. Don't wait until the last moment in case there isn't a fuel station handy.

L = Lights
Too many motorists forget to check their all-important lights before they set out on a long journey. Ask a friend to tell you that all is well whilst you go through the lighting options.

O = Oil
Always top up your oil to between the Minimum and Maximum indicators. If the oil on the dipstick looks dirty, it's best to change it and your oil filter too. Dirty oil means that it's likely carrying metal shards and damaging your engine as it flows. Which can be VERY expensive if neglected.

W = Water
In bad weather visibility is key. You need to rely on a clean windscreen at all times so be sure your water tank is full and don't forget your screenwash either.

E = Electrics
Your electrics run off your car battery. If you've had problems starting your car at any stage during the winter, you might need a new battery. Either way a good garage will check this for you.

R = Rubber
This means your tyres, as mentioned above. Don't forget to check the condition of any spare tyre and to know where that all essential wheel nut key lives. If your car doesn't have a spare tyre, do you know what to do if you have a puncture? And who to call if you don't.

For common vehicle maintenance issues, 'how to' guides and tyre maintenance information, why not visit Protyre's Car Help & Advice seciton by clicking the button below:

Protyre Car Help & Advice

Hopefully you won't need a mobile phone, emergency breakdown contact or notepad and pen in the event of a motoring emergency but it's best to be prepared with all these items, just in case.

Finally may I wish you happy motoring, a safe & reliable car and fast flowing roads wherever you travel this Easter.

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Author

Steph Savill

Steph runs the UK's only membership club for women drivers including VIP offers, affinity car and insurance schemes, a support helpdesk and a network of female friendly approved garages. She is passionate about the need for more regulation in the motor industry, better understanding of tyre safety standards and more women working in the motor industry. She was an early recipient of the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) Recognition Award for services to the motor industry (2015) and curates an award winning automotive blog written by and for women drivers.

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