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Looking after your vehicle

The importance of vehicle management

Looking after your vehicle is as important to your safety as the way you drive it. Did you know that your windscreen makes up 30% of your vehicle’s structural integrity? Or that tyre pressure affects not just handling but also stopping distances, wear rates and fuel consumption?

Read and follow our advice to make sure your vehicle is always safe and roadworthy.

Checking and maintaining your tyres

1. Tyre depth

By law, all vehicle tyres must have a tread of 1.6mm. However at Alphabet, we replace tyres when they reach 2mm. A quick, easy test is to place a 20p coin in the groove of your tyre. If the outer band of the coin is obscured by the tyre, your tread is above the legal limit.

2. Brand and size

If your tyres need replacing, it's important that the new tyres are the right size and brand. You can find this information in your vehicle's handbook or embossed on the outer wall of your current tyres.

3. Tyre pressure

Having your tyres at the right pressure can improve fuel economy, reduce stopping distances and prolong their life. You can find the right pressure in your vehicle manual, printed on the inside ledge of the driver's door, or inside the petrol cap. You can use the facilities provided at most petrol stations to test and inflate tyres.

4. Visual inspection

Before every journey, you should inspect your tyres for any signs of bulges, side wall damage, or embedded foreign objects such as nails or glass.

Looking after your windscreen

1. Check your windscreen regularly

Some chips can start out so small they go unnoticed. Inspect your windscreen before journeys to avoid a small chip becoming a crack, because on average, replacements cost 90% more than repairs

2. Report chips immediately

A minor chip can be repaired far less expensively than large cracks. Report any damage to your windscreen immediately to avoid having to replace it

3. Leave enough distance

Cars in front can throw up debris that can damage your windscreen so leave enough space to reduce this risk

4. De-ice safely

Use de-icer and a suitable scraper to remove ice. Boiling water can crack your windscreen, while a credit card, CD case or similar could scratch it

5. Clear the entire windscreen

Don't just clear enough for the driver to see out, as your view is severely restricted. Don't forget to clear side windows and mirrors too

6. Use proper washer fluid

Your windscreen washer fluid should always be topped up with manufacturer-approved screen wash. Water is less effective and can freeze in cold weather

7. Look after your wipers

Using your windscreen wipers to clear ice can damage them, making them less effective. Clean your wipers regularly and look out for splits

8. Keep wipers clear in summer, too

Clear your wipers of dust and dirt to avoid damage and maintain visibility

Staying topped up and charged up

1. Don't just top up your fuel

Make sure to regularly check (and top up if necessary) your oil, brake fluid, AdBlue, coolant and washer fluid.

2. Keep your battery healthy

If you have an electric vehicle, check your handbook for advice on how to keep your battery working well for longer. Often this means keeping the charge between 20-80%, only 'fast charging' when you need to, and parking in the shade on hot days.

3. Don't forget the E in your PHEV

If you drive a plug-in hybrid, try not to let the battery run down completely. Although you'll still be able to drive with the petrol/diesel engine, having zero charge for an extended period of time could reduce the performance and lifespan of your battery.

Alphabet tyre services

Replacing your tyres is quick and easy

You can book your vehicle in for tyre services via the AlphaGuide app, online, or by calling us on 0370 0120 301.

Alphabet glass service

Get damaged glass repaired immediately

You can book your vehicle in for glass repair/replacement via the AlphaGuide app, online, or by calling us on 0370 0120 301.

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