Warning to motorists after over 50% of cars checked in winter safety campaign are found to have faults

Cleveland Fire Brigade is warning motorists to ensure their car is prepared for winter after over 50% of vehicles checked during a winter safety campaign were found to have one or more faults.

The Brigade teamed up with garages National Tyres and Autocare and Kwik Fit to give free two-minute drive-thru checks including tyres, lights, wipers, fluid levels and washer bottle at Coulby Newham Fire Station.

Of the 75 vehicles that were put through the five point safety check by our partner garages, 56 (42%) had one or more faults identified and 14 vehicles (10%) had multiple faults identified.

This year tyre pressure was found to be a major failing. Almost half the vehicles checked had either under or over inflated tyres.

Seventeen vehicles had low engine oil levels meaning there is an increased risk of over-heating, break-down or the engine seizing. Thirteen cars had bulbs blown, one had a perished tyre and another had the wheel nuts fastened the wrong way round.

Only 19 vehicles (14%) had a clean bill of health.

Andrew Bright, Learn and Live Co-ordinator with Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Once again we got a great response from motorists calling in to have their cars checked over. It was however worrying that so many deficiencies were found that could have affected driver safety.

“Most of the faults were issues that should be getting picked up with routine driver checks and maintenance. Incorrect tyre pressures was a common failing and is something that can easily affect vehicle handling, stability and braking efficiency.

“A ‘two minute check’ is a vital investment to prevent getting into difficulty on the road – and could even save a life. Our message is don’t wait till your car is next in the garage for MOT or service – it might be too late. Most reputable garages offer a free winter safety check similar to the one we conducted and I would encourage motorists to take the opportunity to have their car checked out  and make sure they don’t get caught out as the weather becomes more challenging.

Mr Bright added his thanks to National Tyres and Autocare and Kwik-Fit who supported the event.

*Although the car checks were free, motorists kindly donated a total of £71 towards The Fire Fighters Charity.”