Disclosure: this sponsored post was produced in association with DAT Tyres, but all content remains genuine and my own. 

You may have seen in the news that the average motorist spends 2.5 days a year stuck sitting in traffic. This is a staggering amount of time. Although congestion is an issue across the UK, the top three culprits are found in London: the A406 North Circular Road, A23 Brixton Road, and Kingsway / Strand / Cannon Street.

As a parent, there are obviously a lot more important things that I could be doing than sit in traffic, and this means that ensuring our family car is working properly is a top priority. 

However, like a lot of young families nowadays, the short car trips to the supermarket, swimming, or football practice must have taken their toll on our poor car because following our recent MOT we found that it needed four new tyres and brake pads. Not exactly convenient in terms of timing but incredibly important. 

So, here are some maintenance tips for frequent local driving, which will hopefully keep you moving even if the traffic doesn’t.

Check your brakes

This is an obvious one really, but be aware of your brakes. Listen for any unusual sounds when braking, such as grinding or squealing. The last thing you need is finding out there is a problem when you need to make an emergency stop,

As well as brake pads and discs, the condition of the whole suspension system can affect how long it can take to stop your car.

Look to get them serviced if you suspect they aren’t working as well as they should do. An MOT will always check the brakes are road-worthy too, but don’t use this as an excuse to neglect them.

Think about the road

Road conditions and your ability to adapt will affect how often you have to brake hard and how long it takes to stop.

Driving in rain can not only reduce visibility and mean it might take longer to react, but wet roads can double braking distances. It is also worth remembering snowy and ice can extend braking distances by up to ten times. 

Inspect your tyres

Under-inflated or excessively worn tyres will not only reduce your control your car, but they can also increase fuel consumption and affect its efficiency. It is really easy to check the tyres for bald spots, any nails or objects that may have caused a puncture or leak, or general signs of uneven wear. 

Tyre pressure can also naturally decrease in winter when the weather is cooler so make sure you check it is at the recommended levels for your vehicle.

Time for an MOT?

Although these tips can help maintain your car and keep it running,  it will eventually need an official MOT. It is crucial to ensure your vehicle has a valid MOT and is safe to be driven on the road. Without one your vehicle may be at risk of potential problems and you may face a penalty and fine.

If your annual MOT is coming up and you are wondering where to get an MOT in London or otherwise, DAT Tyres is a helpful place.

Featured image by Mark Cruz

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