7 car checks you NEED to do before driving home for Christmas

MANY of us are looking to travel back home in the next few days for Christmas.

But as the temperatures are set to drop in the coming days, you may want to do some car checks before you set off.

13million Brits are set to travel back home this Christmas

13million Brits are set to travel back home this Christmas信用: 法新社

These are the seven things to look out for on your vehicle.

Does the oil need topping up?

You can do this by using the dipstick to find out if you need to top up.

If you’re still unsure, check the car manual to find out how much you exactly need and the type of oil.


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According to automotive company The RAC, it said over a third of cars that they checked in 2020 had low amounts of oil.

If you need to top up then look for the oil cap and pour in the car’s right amount.

Try not to overfill the oil as it can lead to more problems in the long run.

Do the tyres need to be filled with air?

Legal requirements say that tyre tread depth is 1.6mm in the UK and Europe.

But during the winter months it is recommended that the minimum tread depth of 3mm.

This is advised so you have a better grip on the roads and during wet and icy conditions.

If you’re unsure then check the vehicle’s manual to find the best tyre pressure for your car.

The RAC advises that motorists should be checking their tyres every two weeks and before they head off on long journeys.

Failing to do so, and driving with a bald tyre could land you a £2,500 fine per tyre.

Are the windscreen wipers faulty?

Cold weather conditions can cause havoc with windscreen wipers.

Snow, ice and grit can not only damage your wipes but also impact your visibility on the roads.

To check if you’re wipes are in a good state run your fingers along the blades to look out for any splits.

According to Halfords, we should be changing our car windscreen wipes every six to 12 months but it all depends on the quality of the blades and how much you use them.

Driving with broken wipers could see you hit with a £50 fixed penalty whilst you are driving.

Do you have enough coolant for your engine?

Make sure coolant levels are correct before setting off this Christmas.

Coolant is a mixture of water and antifreeze and is needed to help keep your engine cool.

If you need to top up your coolant make sure you do this when the engine is off and it has cooled down.

To find out how much you need there should be marks on the side of the tank with a minimum and maximum amount.

Always carry an emergency kit in your car with some spare coolant in case you ever get stuck.

If coolant levels drop suddenly then head to your nearest garage to get it checked out.

Is there enough screenwash?

Top up your screenwash during the winter months as it can help keep the windscreen free from ice and dirt.

Make sure your screenwash is effective and down to at least -15 degrees Celsius so that it doesn’t affect your visibility.

If you drive with no washer fluid then you could receive a fine of £100.

It is also classed as an illegal offence if you are caught without any.

Check your front and rear lights

As the evenings are darker earlier, it’s advised to check your lights at the front and rear of your car.

Like coolant, keep a bottle of screenwash in your car if you’re ever in an emergency.

Don’t forget to check your indicators are also working and replace any bulbs that need changing.

Faulty headlights could see drivers slapped with a fine of £100 on the spot.

Does your battery have enough charge?

Cold weather can play havoc with batteries, and if your motor has trouble starting it up then it could be time to get a new one.

According to the RAC, batteries need to be changed every few years but it all depends on your usage.

You can get your battery levels checked at a car service.

A RAC Breakdown spokesperson Simon Williams said: “We strongly recommend drivers carry out some basic checks regularly to make sure their vehicles are road-ready. This is even more important in winter and before setting off on longer trips as it can reduce the chances of an unwanted breakdown occurring.

We also take a look at six ways you can avoid wiping value of your car

As well as how to check your car’s windscreen fluid and how to avoid a fine by using your headlights wrong

Bloke shares genius hack for de-icing your car and it’ll save you a lot of time



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