Here are some important vehicle checks to help keep you moving.
We all rely on our vehicles and unfortunately sometimes things go wrong and they need a little bit of TLC.
We can help reduce our vehicles down time and of course the cost of a major repair by carrying out some basic yet very important checks. By carrying out these checks we can prevent things going wrong for instance tyre checks, oil checks and coolant checks which if left unchecked could result in more damage being done to the vehicle.
It is always a good idea to have a small toolkit in your vehicle, some spare bulbs and also a can of tyre weld for emergencies.
Here is our recommended weekly check list:
- Ensure your vehicle is parked on a level surface and the engine is cold (normally first thing before starting is the best time)
- Locate and pull out the dipstick
- Wipe the dipstick clean and note the min/max markers
- Put the dipstick back in
- Remove the dipstick once more
- Check the oil level against the min/max markers (oil level should be near the maximum level)
- Locate your oil filler cap, Top up with the correct oil if necessary, Just small amounts at a time and keep checking the level (check in your manual for the correct grade of oil required)
- Be careful not to put too much in and use a funnel if you have one to hand to help reduce spillage
- Don’t forget to replace the filler cap and the dipstick
- Coolant can be found in the expansion bottle and is green or red depending on the type of coolant your vehicle uses (if you are unsure check your manual for location and type of coolant)
- This also has a min/max marker to check you have the correct level
- This is also best done when the vehicle is cold as the level will fluctuate with the temperature of the engine
- Top up if necessary when the engine is cool, never remove the cap off the bottle when the engine is hot as the system is pressurised
- Check your windscreen for damage, minor chips can be repaired (normally for free through your insurer) but if left can become a large crack and require a new windscreen and cost you the full windscreen excess on your insurance
- Check your screenwash level and top up if necessary water alone is not normally effective enough to remove road grime and freezes in the winter, most screenwash solvents can operate below freezing
- Check that all of your wiper blades are in good condition that there are no tears in the blade and replace them if they when necessary
- Lights can help you to see but also help others to see you
- Check all bulbs are working on your vehicle this can be done alone if you have a reflective surface for the rear lights or ask someone to help you
- Lights are a legal requirement and you may be subject to a fine if your lights are not in good working order
- Give them a quick wipe over in bad weather
- Tyres are one of the most important things to check as this is what connects your vehicle to the road and is the only point of contact for handling and braking
- Always try to check and adjust tyre pressures when the tyres are cold (when they are hot the air will expand and give a false reading)
- Tyre pressures can be found in the manual or sometimes on the car inside the door or fuel filler cap
- Incorrect tyre pressures can cause extra wear on your tyres meaning they wont last as long and also poor handling
- Remember to refit the caps when you have finished inflating your tyres
- Check the sidewall of the tyre for any cuts or bulges (these could cause the tyre to blow out)
- Check the tread depth with a depth gauge, the legal minimum requirement is 1.6 millimeters across the central three quarters around the entire outer circumference.
- Don’t forget to check your spare
- Deal promptly with any damage to the bodywork to help prevent rust setting in
- Clean off any bird droppings quickly as this can damage your paintwork