Car Safety – It’s Snow Joke! 4 Maintenance Tips to Stay Safe.

As I sit here in my warm kitchen with a glass of red wine to celebrate the fact that it’s the weekend (any excuse!), I log on to my computer to see the headline:

“Snow warnings as mini ‘Beast from the East’ set to hit Britain”

Now I love the snow. It is entirely magical (except when your two year old moans about being cold/falling over/having to walk in the snow/getting snow in his wellies etc etc etc – but that’s a whole other post!). But I really don’t want this Beast from the East to return. I want it to well and truly GO AWAY!

Because tomorrow I have a few child-free hours planned and I want to be able to leave the house, drive somewhere pretty and wander around without having to really speak to anyone or think about anything else! But I do not want to do that in the snow. Or, even worse, the ice.

I’m prompted to remember a post I wrote back in October for Tyre Safety Month. In that post, I was highlighting the importance of keeping regular checks on your tyres to ensure they are safe for driving. Now thankfully I had an MOT in November so I’m pretty confident things aren’t too bad with my car.

But in all honesty, I don’t think we can be too careful when the weather is the way it’s been during this prolonged winter we seem to be having. So I’ve done a little research into ways we can keep our car safely updated for travelling during this Narnia-like winter, and I’ve come up with 4 top tips (with a little help from some friends!):

Check your tyres

I managed to write an entire post about this in October and tyre safety has a whole month dedicated to it so it must be more important then we probably realise! Tyre faults are still one of the biggest contributing factors to road traffic collisions in the UK each year so keeping on top of tyre safety is so important. It’s recommended that we check our tyres every month (note to self – must do better!) and this is definitely something that can help keep us safe during bad weather.

Check your battery

Confession; I have never checked my car battery. Which is a bit scary considering it is usually the only independent power source that vehicles have – so it’s pretty important that they’re kept in good condition. These days, so many cars rely on the battery for extra electronic gadgets like sat navs and phone chargers, that we can deplete the battery without realising. Some places will helpfully provide a free battery check to ensure you don’t end up being caught out and stranded whilst on some work training* (*this may have happened to me recently and I may have been a bit panicky – another top tip – though not maintenance – make sure you have some sort of breakdown cover!)

Get your car serviced

Confession number 2; I have never really understood the difference between a service and an MOT. However, I’ve recently got a new job which involves more driving, and this means I will need my car servicing more often. A service will focus in on all the nooks and crannies, so to speak – the little things like brake fluid, oil filters and fuel hoses. Whilst an MOT is absolutely paramount (see below!), a service can look at things in a bit more detail and can increase the lifespan of your vehicle.

Check for annual MOT

It sounds ridiculous but every single year without fail, I forget when my MOT is due. I know it’s sometime in October/November – but that’s a pretty big time scale! A colleague I used to work with once thought her MOT was due in October, only to check her certificate to find out it had been due the previous April! It is so easy to get an MOT these days. I am not particularly car-savvy and yet the internet makes car maintenance pretty convenient. If you’re looking for an MOT station, you can simply bring up Google, type in your search, and be met with pages full of links. I suppose the only downside is that it’s a bit overwhelming! For that reason, I tend to stick to the same garage or company when getting an MOT just to make it easier to filter Google! And I’m not just talking about the big companies that spring to mind when we think of MOTs. I’m talking about the independent garage I buy my petrol from each week and the family-run station you see on the way to work each day – places like Ossett Tyre House which provides MOT in Dewsbury and nearby areas. If we make sure our MOT is up-to-date then we can feel more assured that our car is in good condition for driving, whatever the conditions.

Stay safe people – especially in this crazy weather we’re having! And keep your car as safe as can be – it is no doubt transporting your most important people on a, most likely, daily basis. Make sure it’s doing so safely.

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