Kwik Fit | Wednesday 12th April 2017 10:13am
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!
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
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
2. Check your tyres
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.
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
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
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
5. Check the condition of your wipers
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
6. Don't leave the eggs in the car!
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.
|Saturday 15th April||8:30am-5:00pm|
Local variations may apply. Freephone your local centre on 0800 222 111 to check specific opening times.
Wednesday 21st June 2017
Your car's air conditioning system: how it works, why it stops blowing cold, how to get it recharged and why your air con might pong a bit.
Tuesday 11th April 2017
Regular tyre checks could prevent up to 27% of all car MOT failures.