Driving home for Christmas, 5 must-do checks!

With further lockdowns and the colder winter months creeping in, the chances are that your car might be feeling a bit under the weather right now.


Rather than get caught out, here are some straightforward checks and simple DIY fixes that you can do to make sure that your vehicle starts when you need it to (and is mechanically safe and sound when it does).


If you are unsure or need any help call up to Nolan Motors in Balbriggan and we will check any of these for free.


lack of use and cold weather. Your car’s probably spent most of the last month on your drive, only leaving for the odd essential trip, and that’s not enough to keep your battery alive. (It can actually take at least 30 minutes of driving to charge a battery, depending on the vehicle and battery age.) Add in the fact that cold weather can make battery charging slower and it’s a good idea to put checking your battery at the top of your list.


Battery Check: Even if your car battery is working well, it’s worth giving it a once-over. Check that all connectors are in place securely and are in good condition, and look for any fluid leakages. These are danger signs that could suggest your battery or terminals may need replacing before they let you down.


Tyre Check: All of your tyres should be in a good condition and undamaged, so start by checking these for any cuts, splits or nicks. Get up close and personal to look for any glass, nails or screws that may have become embedded within your tyres and could cause a puncture in the future. And don’t forget to check your spare tyre as well – the last thing you want is for your spare to be out of commission when you really need it.


Windscreen Check: it’s really important to regularly check the condition of your front and rear windscreen wipers. If they’re failing, you’ll notice smears on your windscreen often accompanied by a painful squeaking noise. If your wipers are on the way out, replace them sooner rather than later. Fitting wiper blades is a simple job that you can do with a handful of standard tools or that our expert colleagues can do for you.


Fluid Check: The oil and coolant in your vehicle play a crucial job in keeping your car running smoothly. Checking and topping up your engine oil is quick and straightforward. Your coolant fluid is stored in a clear overflow plastic container located near the radiator and there’s an indicator on it that will show you if there’s enough in there. One final check that you can easily do yourself is the windscreen washer fluid reserve. It’s located close to the top of the engine bay and is clearly marked in most cars with a windscreen wiper icon. If it’s running low, top it up as soon as you can – particularly because it’s actually illegal to have an empty windscreen washer reservoir!




Bulb Check: All of the lights in your car should work and operate correctly. It’s easy to check them; simply switch on all of your lights and walk around your vehicle a couple of times. Any that aren’t working as they will need replacement bulbs.


Lastley, the past year has been challenging, but if you follow our advice and completed all the checks then you can be confident in the knowledge that your car will be ready and waiting when you need it. Nolan Motors Balbriggan is always ready to help you out. read our latest blog on driving of the holidays and please drop up for any of our free checks.