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6 tips for drivers getting away in the car this Easter

Kwik Fit | Wednesday 12th April 2017 10:13am

Easter eggs in car

The Easter break is almost here (wasnít it just Christmas?) and for many of us itís a chance to a get away for a few days. Whether itís a long weekend away with the kids or a long overdue visit to friends and family; whatever your plans are, you can expect roads and motorways to be busier than usual as the great Easter getaway gets underway!

If your travel plans involve taking the car out this Easter, get your car ready before you set off and take the stress out of your journey with these handy and simple car care tips:

1. Check your oil

checking dipstick for oil levels

Before any long journey, it is recommended that you check your dipstick to make sure there is adequate oil in the engine. Your dipstick will be marked in two places to indicate the minimum and maximum oil levels. Donít let your engine oil level drop below the minimum mark; if your oil level drops too low it could do irreparable damage to your engine as the oil is needed to lubricate moving parts and prevent seizing so itís best to check your oil regularly. Also note the colour of the oil when you look at your dipstick. Good quality, fresh oil is light brown in colour. If the oil looks thick and black it may be time for an oil change.

2. Check your tyres

checking tread depth using tread depth gauge

Nearly a quarter of all breakdowns attended by Highways England traffic officers are caused by tyre problems. In most cases these incidents could have been avoided with a few simple checks before setting off. TyreSafe, the UK road safety charity, urges drivers to remember the acronym ACT and check Air, Condition and Tread when inspecting your tyres. The air pressure should be as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer Ė underinflated and overinflated tyres can be equally dangerous and wear tyres unevenly. Condition should be checked for damage such as cuts, bulges and foreign objects embedded in the tyre. Tread should be checked to ensure at least 1.6mm of tread remains around the entire circumference of the tyre in order to be road legal.

Motorway breakdowns

Should the worst happen and you have a tyre issue while driving on the motorway, slow down, pull over and put your hazard lights on. Stand away from the vehicle in as safe a place as possible and do not be tempted to change the tyre in this dangerous situation. Instead, alert your breakdown recovery service and await their assistance or that of a regional highway traffic officer.

3. Check your child seats are fit for use

baby asleep in car seat

Getting the whole family to their destination safely this Easter is of the utmost importance but did you know that the law regarding the use of child booster seats changed earlier this year? As of 27th February 2017, backless booster seats (or booster cushions) are only approved for use by children taller than 125cm and weighing more than 22kg. This only applies to new products so if you previously owned a backless booster, you donít need to rush out and buy a new one, but it is recommended by experts who believe backless booster are not as safe and offer no head or side impact protection. Parents buying a booster seat on or after 27th February need to make sure it is fit for purpose for their childís, age, size and weight otherwise they could face a £500 fine.

4. Fill up your washer bottle

washer fluid bottle

The last thing you need when you get onto the motorway this Easter is to find that youíre all out of washer fluid. Muck, dirt and dead bugs can build up quickly at speed and warm, dry conditions only help to create a caked on film of grime across the entire windscreen that can make visibility a struggle. A quick blast of washer fluid can make all the difference so remember to fill up beforehand. You can make washer fluid go further during the summer months as a lower concentration is required due to the low risk of freezing temperatures. Most screenwash contains an anti-smear agent to give you a clean and clear windscreen.  That said, also make sure youÖ

5. Check the condition of your wipers

windscreen wiper

Washer fluid isnít much use without good working wipers. When it comes to shifting dry dirt, washers and wipers are pretty much symbiotic. Wiper blades are made of rubber and they split and perish easily so itís a good idea to check them regularly to make sure the blades are in decent condition and effectively disperse water and grime from the windscreen. Even if your wipers are in ok condition, you may find they are not working very effectively after the winter months and leave smears on the windscreen. Hereís a little tip, you can clean the blades by wiping them with a cloth soaked in malt vinegar. The vinegar effectively removes dirt on the wiper blade edge and leaves your windscreen with a streak free shine!

6. Don't leave the eggs in the car!

easter egg on car dashboard

The weather seems to be picking up nicely with temperatures reaching the giddy heights of 25 degrees in some areas in the week before Easter. If this continues, spare a thought for any chocolate eggs you may be taking with you on your travels this Easter. Needless to say, they donít fare well in the heat so donít leave them too long in the car. If on an unavoidably long journey, consider taking a cooler and packing them in alongside some cold drinks to ensure they donít melt and thereís still plenty of eggy goodness to enjoy when you arrive. Happy Easter!

Kwik Fit Easter opening times

Kwik Fit will be open and helping drivers throughout the Easter period so if you have any issues or concerns before you set off on your trip, pop in to your local centre. Outside of the times below, normal trading hours apply.

Day Opening Hours
Good Friday 8:30am-6:00pm
Saturday 15th April 8:30am-5:00pm
Easter Sunday 10:00am-4:00pm
Easter Monday 10:00am-4:00pm

Local variations may apply. Freephone your local centre on 0800 222 111 to check specific opening times.

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