The AA is encouraging drivers to follow some simple vehicle maintenance tips this winter to make sure they are prepared for the colder months.

While the bright summer days might have meant we were not so aware of any problems with our lights, an AA Yonder Driver Poll has revealed nearly two fifths of drivers (39%) find it irritating when they are not working properly on other vehicles. 

The poll also found that a third of drivers are not keen on driving in the darker mornings and autumn evenings, primarily because of the poorer visibility. The organisation is now urging drivers to check if any bulbs have blown on their vehicles, which could subsequently improve visibility during the winter months and also ensure they stay within the law.

To make autumn driving easier, the AA is also sharing some simple tips to follow, with Ben Sheridan, AA Patrol of the Year, advising motorists to “maintain clear vision”. As well as checking their lights, he is urging drivers to top up their windscreen wash “with a good quality, purpose-made additive to reduce the chance of freezing”. 

He is also encouraging drivers to check their wiper blades for any signs of nicks and tears – on average, they last for around two years. Grime can build up quickly on windscreens this time of year too, so drivers are being encouraged to keep them clean as well. 

The tyres can also be a concern – when they are under-inflated or worn, this can have an impact on how the vehicle handles. This can become a particular issue during the winter months, especially as the grip on the roads will be reduced anyway this time of year.

Sheridan said: “It’s vital to make sure that your car’s tyres are in good condition. Worn tyres are not only more likely to suffer a blow-out, but in the event of a downpour a worn tyre is likely to aquaplane, meaning a significantly increased stopping distance and loss of control.”

“And it’s not just the tread depth to look out for but also any damage or defects such as cracks or bulges. Drivers often forget to check the spare tyre, which can be a problem if you hit a pothole and suffer a puncture only to find that the spare isn’t usable.”

“Tyre problems are the number one reason for members to call the AA for help, with more than one tyre-related breakdown every minute – and worryingly the motoring organisation find that around a third of failed tyres have a tread depth below the 1.6mm legal limit. It recommends tyres with a tread depth of 2mm or less should be replaced before embarking on a long journey. Replacing your tyres before they reach the legal limit will also save you from a potential fine and points on your licence.”

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