With the spring weather finally here, it’s a great time to get out there and enjoy more daylight driving hours. But as the seasons change, is your vehicle ready for both the better weather and the differing habits of other road users? Check out our top tips to getting your car ready for the spring season.
Check Your Tyres
Changes in temperatures, combined with seasonal spring showers can cause slippery road conditions, that will reduce the distance it will take you to stop. To avoid accidents, check your tyres have the right amount of tread on them, the correct pressure measurements and that they are in good condition overall.
April showers can be short lived, but they can also be very heavy. After a long dark winter, the rain can hinder visibility so be sure that all of your lights are working. Check for cracks in any taillights, and be sure that your indicators and brake lights are all in perfect working order to help prevent the risk of accidents.
Your wipers will be going super fast during seasonal showers, whilst still recovering from the damp cold weather of winter. Check they are in good working order and replace or repair if necessary. Defective windscreen wipers can be annoying at the best of times and potentially life threatening if they do not clear the windscreen fully. At this time of year the roads can get rather dusty, so ensure you top up with plenty of screenwash.
Be aware of your speed
Of course, you should stay within the speed limits all year round, but after very rainy days, the warmer air combined with rainwater, oil and other leaked fluids means you will need more distance to stop when you break. Travelling at the correct speed is not only a legal requirement, it can also help to protect you and other road users in case you need to break suddenly.
Give it a spring clean
Be sure to carefully remove grime and dirt from the paint work of your car with warm water and car shampoo. This will help avoid the spread of any existing patches of rust and stone chips which will only get worse if left.
Be extra vigilant for pedestrians and cyclists
Longer days and nicer weather brings more people out of doors, making for busier pavements and more congestion. Children tend to play outside more as the weather gets better alongside an increased number of cyclists on the roads. Be extra vigilant, and drive safely around parks, play areas or housing areas where children could be playing on the streets outside.
Take care over potholes
The spring thaw can result in potholes forming along weakened areas on the road's surface. Spring is considered pothole season and it is best to avoid them if you can to prevent any potential damage to your vehicle.
Check underneath your car
Your car will have taken the brunt of the worst of the weather this winter. Of all areas, the underside of your car will have suffered the most. Before the weather relents, it would be wise to check the car is in good mechanical order underneath and that you have hosed down any mud or salt residue that could potentially corrode your car over time. This can all be checked over during your car service, to give you the peace of mind your car is running safely.
Avoid using your mobile phone whilst driving
This spring sees the introduction of tougher rules regarding the use of mobile phones whilst driving, due to it being seen linked with a high amount of road accidents. So, it’s advised to keep your phone out of sight when at the wheel to avoid temptation.
The government website has a lot of useful information around this, however essentially for a first time offence you could get six points and a £200 fine if caught driving with a mobile phone in your hand. Thereafter, things get a whole lot worse with it being possible to accrue twelve points, be taken to court, potential disqualification from driving and fines up to £1000. If you’ve qualified within the past two years, penalties are particularly harsh, as you’ll lose your licence completely.
Check your child seat against latest regulations
Child seat regulations are constantly changing so it’s advised to check the updated safety advice regularly. However, under the latest rules, backless booster seats or booster cushions will only be approved for use by children taller than 125 cm and weighing more than 22 kg.
Currently being used by children as young as 3, it is thought that the further legislation will be bought in later this year to raise the weight restrictions across the board. As always, check on governmental websites to ensure you are adhering to the correct rules and regulations as they regularly change.
Regularly servicing your car is paramount to ensuring it stays in peak condition, not just in aesthetics but in safety, reliability and performance. Don’t hesitate to get in touch should you be looking to give your car some TLC with our mechanical experts.