With the autumn and winter weather beckoning in the UK, motorists are being urged to carry out important checks before hitting the road.

The car leasing experts at LeaseElectricCar.co.uk are urging drivers to carry out regular safety checks to avoid danger on the roads this autumn and winter.

As the weather changes it can severely impact visibility on the road as well as the condition of the road surfaces.

Carrying out these safety checks can not only keep drivers from harm on the road but will also increase the longevity of vehicles, especially since winter time is extremely tough on cars.

A spokesperson for LeaseElectricCar.co.uk said: “Winter weather can be extremely treacherous especially if your vehicle isn’t designed to deal with certain conditions.

“It can be daunting to carry out vehicle safety checks without the help of a mechanic, but anyone can do them. They’re simple and can save you a lot of money in the long run.

“Just by making a few simple checks you can help to keep yourself and others safe on the road.”

Six checks you need to do before driving in the winter

Tyres

The Northern Echo: Checking the tread of a car tyre is crucial (PA Features Archive/Press Association Images)Checking the tread of a car tyre is crucial (PA Features Archive/Press Association Images)

As winter approaches snow, frost and sleet are more likely to cause problems for cars on the roads.

Having the appropriate tread on your tyres can help you get a better grip on the road.

An easy way to check your tyre tread depth is to place a 20p coin into one of the primary grooves of the tyre.

If you can see the outer ring of the coin when inserted it is likely your tyre is worn and unsafe.

You shouldn’t be able to see the outer ring of the coin and the tread should be a bare minimum of 1.6mm.

Windscreen

Visibility on the roads can be affected in the winter weather, and so checking the function of your windscreen is crucial.

You can easily check for wear and tear on your wiper blades by seeing if they are dry, cracked or misshapen. If they are then it is advisable to replace them.

Ensuring you have enough windscreen fluid can also be done by lifting up the bonnet and seeking a plastic tube with a windscreen symbol on it. 

Making sure your windscreen is free of chips is also important, as frost can seep into small cracks and start to spread across the entire screen.

The constant expansion and contraction of the glass in cold weather can render your windscreen unsafe if it is already damaged. Get any damages checked by a professional in the first instance.

Oil
Having the correct amount of oil in your car can help to prevent the engine seizing up particularly when it comes to winter time.

Too much oil can actually be as detrimental to your vehicle's health as much as too little.

The way to check your car’s oil is to switch the engine off and locate the dipstick, which is usually a yellow hoop next to the engine.

Pull the dipstick out and wipe away any excess oil. Then place the dipstick back into the tube, pull it back out and if there is little to no oil on the stick make sure to top up with the appropriate oil type for your vehicle. 


Antifreeze
Usually your car's warning system will signal if there is a fault with the engine cooling system, however spotting any problems early can help prevent any serious damage.

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 your car’s coolant you can locate the tank by using your vehicle’s manual.

When your are topping up, it is important that your engine has fully cooled down otherwise you can cause serious injury through the release of pressurised water.

It’s also important to note that different types of antifreeze don’t always mix well, so when topping up the tank, try to use the same type where possible.

Battery

The Northern Echo: A routine check of your car battery could be crucial (PA Features Archive/Press Association Images) A routine check of your car battery could be crucial (PA Features Archive/Press Association Images)

Battery failure is a common reason for car breakdowns during the winter, so completing a routine check could save you a lot of problems.

Start with a visual inspection and ensure the clamp and terminals are all tight and secure.

Cleaning your battery from dirt and debris can help extend its life and keep it in working order.

Finally, check the battery’s fluid level, if the battery plates are exposed then top up with distilled water until they are covered again.

Lights

It’s basic advice, but as the days get shorter make sure your lights are working effectively.

To test your car's headlights, turn them on and walk to the front of your vehicle to make sure they’re working and appear bright.

In order to check the rear lights, have someone else stand at the back of the vehicle whilst it’s stationary. Go through and check both your reversing lights and brake lights.

Again, both sides should be fully functioning and bright. If not, ensure to get them changed before you head back out on the road.