Drivers face £2,500 fines for failing to carry out little-known checks during heatwaves

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Motoring experts have warned drivers across the UK about the possibility of receiving a £2,500 fine for failing to carry out several little-known but essential checks when the temperatures rise. Not only are those checks vital for the driver’s safety, but they can also save motorists from being slapped with unnecessary punishment.

Failing to ensure a vehicle is safe to drive before a journey could land drivers with a fine of up to £2,500, as well as three points on their licence.

This is because having an unsafe vehicle goes against section 40A of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

The act states that a person is guilty of an offence if “they use, or cause or permit another to use a motor vehicle or trailer on a road when the condition of the motor vehicle or trailer, or of its accessories or equipment, is such that the use of the motor vehicle or trailer involves a danger of injury to any person.”

Director at Leasing Options Mike Thompson said: “It’s important that before starting a summer car journey, drivers carry out some simple quick checks to ensure their vehicle is in a safe condition to drive long distances.

“Motorists who fail to do so could risk breaking down mid-journey and also face a fine if their vehicle is deemed in a dangerous condition.”

Here are some of the essential car maintenance checks drivers should carry out during heatwaves:

A hard clutch pedal is a sign of a failing clutch cable

Clutch replacement costs on average £475.

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For manual cars, every time a driver changes gear the clutch comes under pressure. Over time this can affect a vehicle’s clutch cables.

One major sign of a failing clutch pedal is a hard clutch pedal.

A cable experiencing problems will struggle to move when the clutch pedal is pressed resulting in a pedal that resists depression when stepped on.

If motorists continue to press on the pedal when this is occurring, it could cause the cable to break. The result of this will be an inoperable clutch pedal.

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If drivers notice a change in how the clutch feels, they must get it checked out immediately. Driving with faulty clutch cables could cause a serious accident.

Beware of tyre valve failure

The repair cost per tyre is on average £35.

Tyre valve failure can be a cause of slow tyre puncture, so it is important for motorists to know how to check if their tyre valve is failing.

One handy way to check this at home is by adding some washing-up liquid to water, removing the valve cap, and brushing the liquid over the tyre valve.

Beware of dim or flickering car lights

Dim or flickering car lights could be a sign that the car’s alternator is faulty.

The alternator is responsible for supplying electrical needs to a vehicle, when there is a problem with the alternator it begins to show through car features that use electricity.

If the car’s temperature rises quickly and the ignition warning light comes on, this could be a warning sign that the belt that drives the alternator and water pump could have a fault.

In this case, drivers should not attempt to restart your vehicle.

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