Pot holes created by the sudden drop in temperatures have triggered an influx of motorists onto HiQ forecourts, with the network completing its 1,000th free health check already this month.

HiQ, with 150 centres across the UK, is sharing safety tips and offering motoring guidance, while conducting eight point vehicle health checks in the process.

Centres are reporting an additional 10 to 30 pot hole related visits per week, but is urging drivers to stay positive by getting in touch with their nearest centre for 'a free service with no strings attached.'

HiQ fast fit manager Stuart Carr said: "We have been overwhelmed by the amount of drivers taking advantage of our free vehicle health checks. To have hit the 1,000th mark already this month shows that we are offering a sound service which motorists trust.

"Hitting a pothole can damage the tyres, wheel, suspension or steering. It could even cause an accident.

"We can only urge motorists to continue to drive with caution. While the roads appear a lot safer, the issue of pot hole damage is a real one."

Winter makes many more demands of drivers and their vehicles. Brakes, visibility, steering and batteries are all subject to extremely heavy use and HiQ is offering the free checks to ensure these key areas are fully prepared.

HiQ's comprehensive eight point winter health check covers the following areas:

1. Tyres: checking and adjusting pressures on all five tyres, including tread depth and wheel alignment

2. Battery: check battery and clean and grease terminals.

3. Windscreen: check condition of front and rear wiper blades, washers and headlamps.

4. Lights and horns: check condition of side, tail, main, dip, stop, reverse, indicators, hazard, fog and spot lights

5. Engine: check engine oil and filter, run engine, check for leaks  

6. Coolant hose: Inspect hoses and fasteners, radiators and connections, antifreeze and check for leaks