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Clear Those Leaves!

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life we must look out for! Those pesky leaves are building up but what harm are they we hear you ask? Well you might be surprised to know they can be quiet hazardous if not cleared from not just roads but our vehicles also. Believe it or not, engine fires are possible if you don’t clear fallen leaves from certain vulnerable parts of combustion powered car around the engine bay or indeed around brake callipers. A build-up of wet leaves can have dangerous consequences on all vehicles including motorcycles. We understand autumn can be a frustrating time for drivers as it’s likely many will wake up to find their car under a pile of fallen leaves but it’s worth clearing them off! Let’s have a look at the basic risks.

Is there really a risk of fire?

It might not be all that common but wet leaves pose a serious risk when the engine is attempting to heat up which can result in a fire. Make sure to check regularly under the bonnet before setting off in the car to clear up any fallen leaves and not to let them pile up. Most modern cars come with plastic engine covers to stop leaves and debris getting closer to hot parts like the exhaust manifold or turbos but it is still worth checking under the bonnet and around the brake callipers.

Can leaves damaged the bodywork?

It has been proven that fallen leaves can lead to rust problems developing on the car. Once the leaves begin to decompose on the car, the tree sap and tannic acid can gradually take damage the lacquer or eat into the paint coat which can be pricy to repair.

Do filters get blocked?

Cars run a number of filters that we should be aware of. A blocked air filter can result in serious engine issues. The most common problem is engine misfires, which are extremely dangerous as you could lose power on the road unexpectedly. Having the air filter blocked will also significantly damage the engine’s performance over time. The other filter to be aware of is the cabin or pollen filter. This cleans the air entering inside the vehicle so it’s worth checking for pesky leaves from time to time.

Are grip issues likely?

Most modern legal tyres have the capability to disperse leaves fast but if you do see wet mulched particles inside tyre threads, there could be an increased chance of skidding if they’re left to build up over time during wet conditions. Make sure to check if any leaves are sticking to the tyres before driving off. Motorcycles are naturally more vulnerable and riders should always try to avoid the centre section of the road where there tends to be a build up of leaves/debris.

Clean, clear visibility is a must

It might sound basic but using the wipers is not always enough. Even if the leaves are brushed to the side of the windscreen, they can unexpectedly move in front of the windscreen so you won’t be able to see other vehicles and potential hazards on the road. Also clear out the lower plastic part of the screen so your screen wash jets are clear. A build up of leaves in the scuttle panel is common this time of the year!

Avoid expensive maintenance costs!

It stands to reason that if you neglect to clear the leaves off the vulnerable parts of the car and the engine gives trouble, don’t be surprised if you’re left forking out thousands in the garage. It’s worth a least once a week lifting the bonnet to check for any fallen leaves.


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