Last year, the UK went through quite a change in the weather, from adverse wintery conditions in Spring to heavy snow then back to Spring again.
The UK weather changes quicker than a blink of eye so keeping you Car and Tyres Road Legal can be a constant battle. Each year, our cars have to have road worthiness test.
These tests are very tough and stringent, and change from time to to meet the standards set by the Government. These tests are called an MOT and are for cars over three year old from the date of first registered and over.
Checking your car and tyres regularly is very important, especially if you are going on long road journeys. Whether you live in Newbury or further up north, here are my five top things to look out for when checking your car and tyres after adverse weather conditions.
*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post
1. Checking Your Tyre Wall For Blisters
You have managed to look after your car all year long and managed not to hit too many potholes in the roads at speed.
Six weeks ago, without warning or signs that one of my tyres had any issues. It burst and deflated very rapidly. At the time, the car was full and we just set off. Luckily no one was hurt. Had the tyre given way at high speed, it could have been another story entirely.
With the amount of potholes on Newbury roads and around the UK, you may have to check your tyres more regularly just see if the tyre wall has not been compromised in anyway.
When you reach your destination, you notice a bulge or blister on the outer tyre wall.
This means your tyre walls integrity has been compromised and the tyre will need to be replaced as soon as possible.
This is the ‘WHAT IF’ you cannot afford to ignore. The human cost, injuries to your self, the occupants of your car and to other road users, is way too high.
All because people think: “Oh, I have a few miles before I have to change it”. You probably do, but not at the speeds where your tyres are required to perform when you need them the most on the motorway network.
2. Tyre Tread is Within Legal Limits.
With icy or wet road conditions your tyres may spin and loose traction. As a result your tyre tread can diminish considerably.
Your car may have traction control, but you could still get spinning wheels when leaving a junction that sees heavy traffic, with HGVs or on a major bus routes.
The amount of oil or fluids transferred from these vehicles to the road, can cause new tyres to spin when you least expect them to.
Long distance travel up and down the motorway can also reduce the life of your tyres.
Checking your tyre tread regularly can help you avoid an on the spot fine from a Police Officer, points on your license or a court fine.
Visit Headley Tyres in Newbury to purchase new tyres when the tread is below 1.6mm. Having a low tread is dangerous and you could be fined up to £2,500 and three points on your driving licence for each bald tyre on your car/vehicle.
3. Enough Screen Wash For Your Road Journey
When the weather has changed, dirt can be thrown up from the vehicle in front of you onto your windscreen.
During wintery conditions, I usually find that I have to fill up my screen wash reservoir more than twice a week.
That is more than I would do during the summer months.
Filling up your screen wash after I have been to fill up my fuel tank, is the best way of making sure I have enough water to clear my windscreen after really bad weather.
Even after a really heavy rain downpour, the amount of dirty deposits on your windscreen can build up.
It doesn’t take 2 minutes to check and make sure your screen wash reservoir has enough water.
It is illegal under the Road Vehicles Regulations 1986 to NOT have fluid in a vehicle’s screen washer bottle. Fines can be in excess of £300 plus court costs.
4. Wiper Blades Are Not Torn and Falling Apart
Windscreen wiper blades are thin and made of rubber, but like all things, they are perishable and can fail at any time.
Just as it is illegal not have fluid in your windscreen washer bottle. Having defective wiper blades can run the risk of a court fine for each wiper blade that is faulty. This includes your rear wiper blade too.
If you have a brand new car, then the likelihood of your wiper blades failing is very small.
However, you are still responsible for the maintenance of your vehicle. Lifting each wiper arm and checking the full length of the wiper blade will help to determine if they need to be replaced.
5. Number Plates Are Cleaned And Visible
You could think that this is important but think of this in another way. If you are in an accident and you need to exchange details and your number plate is not visible, you could fall foul of the Law.
If a Police Car spotted that your number plate was not visible, you could be liable for up to 3 points on your license plus a £60 fine if this went to court.
After a storm, snow storm or prolonged wintery conditions like we have had in the UK.
The amount of salt being spread on the roads gets kicked up by other vehicles and where is this going to go? It will go on your car.
Especially as the snow thaws and turns to slush, the amount of dirt from the road surface is transferred to your vehicle and can cover your number plate.
Even if the rest of your car is covered in grime and dirty, giving your registration plate a good clean, will save you getting penalty points on your license plus a hefty fine.
I have learned over the years that you can never be too careful when it comes to maintaining your car and tyre safety.
Before I even got behind the stirring wheel of a car, my father taught me, that tyre safety was just as important as keeping your car clean.
He had a philosophy that, if you looked after and maintained your car, it would look after you.
My father taught me how to check the tyre treads, the tyre pressures. Making sure your car is safe to drive after severe weather conditions can be the difference between life or death in some cases.
I have seen way too many road traffic accidents for my own liking. Seeing someone dying and being wiped out on a motor-way due to a tyre failure, it is not a nice thing to witness and will live with me for the rest of my life.
Spending a few minutes just checking your tyres can save lives and prevent tragedy.
Performing the above checks can also be the difference between expensive repair bills and or large costly court fines with the possibility of loosing your driving license in extreme cases.
Have you had any experiences with poor tyres? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear more.