Whether you’re driving a brand new (or used) Unbeatablecar off the forecourt or are trying to get to know your old banger a little more intimately in the hopes of keeping it kicking for a few more months, there are a number of basic car safety checks that many British motorists either choose to ignore or don’t realise are a necessity. With almost 1.3 million British drivers not even able to open a bonnet, we thought it was time to offer up a few of the more common car maintenance and safety checks that all car owners should have memorised.
Fuel – Many of us are guilty of waiting until the red light starts blinking before we worry about refuelling, but it’s always good practice to top up before your car starts telling you to panic. Running out of fuel in the middle of nowhere is not only bad for you but for your car too.
Electrics – Perhaps one of the most common problems that will result in a breakdown are electrical problems, as whilst our cars are technically mechanical, they are also machines that require electricity to function properly. Everything from the cooling and heating system to the engine starter runs on the battery, so it’s vital that you check it on a regular basis. A new battery, after all, might be an expense, but it will be infinitely less expensive than a whole new car!
Lights – Your lights should be given a decent clean at least once a month, as dirty lights can often work less efficiently. Whilst you’re down there, also make sure to check for any cracks or blown bulbs.
Water – The summer is here and that means a number of things for motorists – windows down, tunes up and (regrettably) overheating. Indeed, engine overheating is responsible for thousands of breakdowns every year in the UK and it can be easily avoided as long as you make sure your water tank is topped up every few weeks. You should also sporadically check for any leaks and be sure to keep your windscreen wipers topped up with fluid too!
Oil – Your car will most likely make its way through at least a litre of oil for every 1,000 miles, so if you regularly commute in your vehicle it would be wise to check the oil level on at least a weekly basis, maybe even more if your job involved a lot of driving.
Tyres – Checking tyre pressure is as simple as hitting up the local garage, but so many of us neglect to do this simple task. If your tyres are not properly inflated then you will not only wear your tyres out sooner but your fuel efficiency will drop dramatically, particularly if you are carrying a heavy load.