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Lancashire Times
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2:00 PM 23rd December 2021
cars

Driving Home For Christmas - The Checklist

Top to toe in tailbacks with red lights all around, the feeling of heading home for the festive season is like no other!

However, it is important motorists looking to head home for the festive season carry out crucial car checks.

Experts at StressFreeCarRental.com are providing motorists with their Christmas road trip checklist for those looking to pack up their cars and hit the roads this winter.

The festive season often brings with it some unpredictable and frosty weather which can have a big effect on road surface conditions, making essential safety checks more important than ever.

A spokesperson for StressFreeCarRental.com said:
“As excited as we all are to see family and friends around the festive period, it is super important for motorists to ensure the safety of their vehicle before setting off.

“The winter can present a lot of unpredictable weather conditions, cars are best suited to drive through treacherous conditions when they have had checks carried out to ensure optimum driving capabilities.

“A few simple checks will help significantly to help drivers relax and enjoy the Christmas songs on their journey!”

Here is the Christmas road trip checklist from StressFreeCarRental:

Presents


Most importantly of all, drivers should ensure they have all of their presents and cards on board before setting off on their festive journey! When it comes to getting the car packed up, drivers should ensure they pack smartly to reduce the amount of luggage or presents blocking visibility.

Emergency kit

On dark wintery nights, driving conditions can change drastically and leave drivers in a situation they were not prepared for! To avoid experiencing any panic or distress, drivers should ensure they have a small emergency kit including a car phone charger, high vis clothing, the phone number for their breakdown provider, warm clothing and a torch.

Lights

As the days get shorter, ensuring all vehicle lights are functioning properly is not only essential but also a legal requirement. Motorists can simply check their headlights by turning them on and walking in front of the car. They should appear bright and even on both sides. Brake lights and reverse lights can be checked by having someone stand behind the vehicle.

Tyres

Snow, sleet, rain and frost can all have a huge impact on the terrain, meaning tyre upkeep is more important than ever in the winter months. An easy and effective way for motorists to check their tyre tread depth is to place a 20p coin into one of the primary grooves of the tyre. The outer ring of the coin should not be visible, if it can be seen then it is likely the tyres are worn and unsafe as the tread should be a bare minimum of 1.6mm.

Windscreen

Winter weather can be unpredictable and having full visibility can prevent any potential dangers on the road. Motorists can easily check for any wear and tear on their wiper blades by seeing if they are dry, cracked or misshapen. If they are then it is advisable to replace them.

Not only is it important to have fully functioning wiper blades for optimal visibility, but also to ensure the windscreen is free from chips. Frost can seep into a small crack and start to spread across the windscreen. The constant expansion and contraction of the glass in cold weather can render your windscreen unsafe if it is already damaged. Drivers should get any damages checked by a professional in the first instance.

Antifreeze

Usually, car warning systems will signal if there is a fault with the engine cooling system, however spotting any problems early can help prevent serious issues. When water freezes it expands and this can lead to cracked and broken pipes, which can significantly affect the functioning of the engine.

In order to top up the car’s coolant, motorists can locate the tank by referring to the vehicle manual. It is crucial when topping up your antifreeze that the engine has fully cooled down, as the release of pressurised water can cause serious injury. It’s also important to note different types of antifreeze don’t always mix well, so when topping up the tank, motorists should try to use the same type where possible.

https://www.stressfreecarrental.com/en/uk