How To Prepare Your Car for Darker Nights
Although it rolls around every year, the darker nights can still creep up on you. And now the clocks are going back, it’s going to feel even darker. So, how do you make sure your car’s ready to hit the road? We’re here to guide you through it.
Check your bulbs
It might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people drive around without knowing if their bulbs are still working.
You should have working bulbs all year round of course (and it’s actually illegal to drive with any broken bulb – not just your headlights), but you’ll find yourself turning them on more and more over the coming months.
Before you set off, check that each one is functioning properly. If you’d prefer us to do it for you, you can book a 10-Point Car Health Check to get areas like your tyres and windscreen checked at the same time. You could also opt for a more comprehensive 30-Point Car Safety or even your annual service – just before the worst weather hits is a great time to get your car checked over by the experts to make sure your journeys are safe ones.
You should make sure that your headlights are aligned properly too – that just means that the angle they sit at won’t leave other drivers dazzled and distracted. We can do that for you with our Headlamp Alignment Service.
Look out for worn tyres
Again, keeping your tyres in good condition is important at any time of the year, but those darker winter journeys can throw up obstacles that are harder to navigate.
Tyres with little tread make it harder to grip the road well, meaning it’s harder to come to a stop quickly should you need to. In darker conditions, you might not spot a hazard as quickly as you would in the summer months, and you may need to come to a quick halt. Making sure your tyres are well-maintained will help you to avoid any collisions or accidents.
Legally, your tyres need to have at least 1.6mm of tread – but we recommend replacing them sooner to keep a safer grip on the road. If it’s time for replacements, now’s the perfect time to switch to all-season tyres. They’re highly adaptable and designed to handle the conditions all year round. You’ll find a deeper tread than on your summer tyres to give you a solid grip on the road, and a longer life on your car.
If you do need new tyres, we can help. At National Tyres and Autocare, we stock a huge range of trusted brands like Bridgestone, Pirelli, and Avon. There’s a tyre to suit every budget, and we offer a range of finance options to make sure you don’t have to sacrifice safety on the road because of cost.
Keep your vision clear
When you’re driving in the dark, anything you can do to boost your view of the road is sure to keep your journeys safer. So, it’s well worth paying some close attention to your windscreen.
One of our favourite services is a treatment called Duxback. This clever fluid was originally designed for the airline industry and causes water to bead up on your glass and run off smear-free – like water off a Duxback! We can add the treatment to your windscreen, windows, and rear window to give you a seamless view all around. It’ll last for around six months (taking you safely through the worst of the weather) and even help to stop frost from forming too. The best part is, at speeds over 40mph you don’t even need to use your wiper blades, as the beaded water just runs right off!
That doesn’t mean you can get complacent on checking your blades though – they’re a vital part of your car’s safety system, and squeaky or smearing blades are probably nearing the end of their life. If you’d like one of our technicians to double-check them for you, book a free wiper blade check at your local National Tyre and Autocare. Or, opt for a more comprehensive 10-Point Car Health Check to get other important areas of your car looked over at the same time.
Book your MOT
You might think of your MOT as an expense you could do without, but it’s a really important measure of the roadworthiness of your car (not to mention a legal requirement). If yours is due any time soon, book in now to make sure you’re ready for whatever winter throws at you.
Even better, combine your MOT and service into one handy bundle – you’ll save yourself a trip to the garage, and some extra money! With all of these checks complete, you should be ready to take on those darker journeys, whether it’s the morning commute or a nighttime drive.
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