Car Care Tips for the Holiday Season

Posted on November 29th, 2012
Categories: News

It is just lovely when the Holiday season approaches and we look forward to a break from our daily routines. Going for that holiday to Mombasa? Naivasha? Not surprisingly we are not the only ones thinking of driving out of town to a holiday destination. But there are few things we need do before driving off that I would like to share.

Service your car – I know this one is obvious! But sometimes, with the end of year pressures at work it can slip out of our minds! At least a week before travelling out, get your mechanic to check your vehicle.

If a service has already been done, it is still good to just pop the hood and check for yourself visually (yeah, don’t be scared ladies) and get assistance if necessary. Things that are important to check are Oil (Engine, Automatic Transmission Fluid, brake fluid), battery, coolant, lights, wipers, hose, fan belt/power steering belt, air filter etc.

Tyres – Inspect your tyres, visually and physically. Some people have shared with me previously, “but my tyres are new, why do I need to check if they are ok or not?” It’s all about the mechanics; Perhaps something with the car that makes the tyres not perform, or the bumps and potholes that we see currently appearing on roads, anything can cause our tyres to wear off unevenly.

Quick and simple ways of checking while you drive is if you feel your car wobble, your tyres may need balancing; if your car is steering heavy towards one side, check the car alignment. When your tyre is wearing off unevenly, part of the tyre (left/right/middle of the tread) looks more worn out then rest of the tread. This is apparent on a visual check of the tyre. It is recommended that the tyres need to be replaced before the tread depth reaches to 1.6mm. [Michelin tyres have tread wear indicators situated in the base of the main tread grooves at the height of approximately1.6mm]. This is specifically helpful not because you may get caught by cops, but for your safety, for best tyre grip while you drive!

For those of us who can’t afford to buy all four tyres to replace at once, buy them two at a go for each axle. However, note that it is recommended to fit the new tyres or the least worn out tyres on the rear axle.  This will reduce the risk of losing control of your vehicle especially on wet roads and ensures better road handing whether your vehicle is a front or rear wheel drive.

Last but not least, check your tyre pressure! Correct tyre pressure reduces the risk of losing control of your vehicle and save fuel among other benefits. Remember 2 things; one – air escapes from a tyre naturally due to various reasons. If there is damage, get the tyre or rim repaired or replaced; two – check tyre pressure when the tyre is cold. If they are hot from driving already, it is advisable to add 4-5psi to the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.

Spare tyre & tools– The spare tyre is something that can be overlooked easily. However, it is crucial that the spare tyre is in good condition, with no punctures, all repairs made, has the right tyre pressure and is well balanced. When on that journey you will be grateful in an emergency that you ensure that the car has the right jack, wheel spanner and wheel nut tools in check!

It is recommended that you have the actual size spare tyre and not a donut tyre. However, if you must go with a donut, don’t use it for too long a distance. Find the nearest pit stop and get your tyre repaired and replaced. Donuts are good for an emergency for short distance just to get to you the nearest mechanic.

Safety – With a rise in road accidents, we can never be too safe. Load in your car a well equipped first aid box, fire extinguisher and life savers. Drive in the correct speed limits and take caution on the road when overtaking. Aim to reach the destination, may be a bit later than anticipated but in one piece!    Don’t forget the triangles too! Police will be checking cars randomly!

Even after thorough checks, things may go wrong on the journey so always be on guard and be prepared.

Visit our Kingsway Tyre Centres, click here for locations, countywide for tyres and tyre care open through out this holiday season for that Special Christmas treat!

Written by Reema Doshi, PR & Marketing manager, Kingsway Tyres Ltd via Village Beat Magazine