Regular maintenance checks on your vehicle will not only help it to run better, but will also work to prevent problems when you least expect them. Beyond longevity, keeping your vehicle in good shape also helps to increase levels of safety. When a car is running smoothly and performing as it should, it puts less strain on your engine and other components, meaning your driving ability will not be compromised by a vehicle that isn’t working efficiently.
Change in seasons is even more of a reason to be aware of what needs to be checked on your vehicle, so we’ve come up with a checklist to help you know what’s most important when checking your car and to help you save money and stress in the long run!
Tyres are one of your cars most important components, and it’s equally important to ensure they are working to the best of their ability. Checking your tyres regularly, and especially before you take a long trip, can help minimise any potentially dangerous incidents.
Firstly, you will need to know the correct tyre pressure of your vehicle, usually found in the drivers’ manual handbook, or alternatively found in the frame of one of the cars front doors, or the fuel filler flap.
To ensure maximum safety, you should check your tyres every couple of weeks including tread and condition, looking for any cuts on the sidewalls or bulges that could hint at a tyre blowout.
If you have a spare tyre in your car, remember to check that too. It needs to withhold the correct pressure and be in good condition so that it’s road-ready in case of an emergency.
2. Engine oil
Engine oil is food for your vehicle. Keeping this topped up will keep your car running smoothly and will help to avoid most major engine problems, so check this every couple of weeks or before a long journey. Note that this point should only be done when the engine is cold and has not been running for at least 10 minutes.
To check your oil, you must identify where the dipstick is in the engine bay; you can find this information in your car’s handbook. Once located, take the dipstick out and wipe with a clean cloth. You will see two marks on the dipstick, one for minimum and one for maximum oil levels. Replace the dipstick and take it out again, which will then provide you with a precise current oil level, which should read somewhere between the two marks.
Oil in the car will need topping up if the level is low, which can be done by finding out which oil is required for the specific model of car, and then topping up once you have purchased the correct type. Topping up the oil is simple, just remove the dipstick and pour in gradually, being careful not to reach the maximum level.
You should check your windscreen regularly for any damage, including chips or noticeable stone marks. Not only can these impair the vision of the driver, but if they go left unchecked, they can spread or cause secondary cracks.
The windscreen wiper blades also need regular attention as they can wear down overtime, and ultimately start smearing the windscreen. From bugs and dust in the summer, to rain and snow in the winter, your wipers help keep the windscreen clean and clear for your full visibility. Look to replace these at least once a year, as they have a lot to cope with throughout the seasons.
All lights on your vehicle should be checked at least once a week as standard. This includes indicators, brake and fog lights, as well as headlights and daytime running lights.
If any of the lights on the vehicle appear to be fading or failing, replace the bulbs straight away. These can be done yourself or you can get it done professionally by contacting our service department here. (HYPERLINK) With something as important as your cars lights, and ensuring that they are legal at all times, you don’t want to take any risks.
Clean the lights regularly, too, especially after driving in bad weather. A damp cloth is the best way to do this.
Checking the vehicles fluid levels and topping up where is required is another important task that should be regularly checked. Note that this point should only be done when the engine is cold and has not been running for at least 10 minutes.
The easiest to check is washer fluid, which can quickly run out in the colder months. This is also very easy to refill when you’re running low. Actual screenwash, available from most major supermarkets and car specific stores, is best to use instead of just water, as water is prone to freezing in colder months and will not successfully clear all the dirt from the road off the windscreen.
Engine coolant, antifreeze and steering fluid all come with dipsticks or gauges, making it easy for you to be able to check fluid levels at a glance. Coolant and antifreeze have distinctive drains, though topping up and replacing/refilling are two very different tasks. If it’s time to flush or drain the fluids completely, for a brand new refill, you may need assistance from one of our service technicians.
If you would like assistance in checking your vehicle, or would like to book your car in for a service then you can contact us here!