Everyone loves to be treated; it can turn a bad day into a good day and even give you an extra push to perform better, so why should it be any different for your car? So give you car a health check today.
If you treat and maintain your car, just like us, it will live longer, so if you love your car and want to keep your vehicle in check, here are some basic checks that will keep your car purring and your breakdown card locked safely away in the glove-box.
Most new cars will warn you of any mechanical problems, with a warning light on your dashboard. As tempting as it can be, never ignore a warning light they’re there for a reason, and if you’re unsure what the light means consult your manual or go to your local dealer.
Check your tyres:
Walk around your car and inspect each tyre for wear and air pressure. You can usually find your recommended air pressure on a sticker located on one of the front door’s closing panels or in your manual. To check the exact pressure, use a hand gauge, foot pump or go to your local petrol station. Note these pressure can be varied depending on how laden your car is or if you are towing.
Check your oil:
If your car is slightly older then you should check your oil regularly. To check your levels, park on a flat surface and make sure the engine is cool. Locate the dipstick, pull it out and wipe it clean with an old cloth, then push it all the way back in until the top of it is seated properly in the dip tube, wait a few seconds then pull it out again. The oil level will be clearly marked on the dipstick. If it’s between the high and low marks, you’re fine. If it’s too low, add a little though don’t overfill as this can cause as much damage as too little.
You should always try and use the same type of oil that is already in your vehicle, but if you’re unsure you can enter your registration number into the Halfords website and it will advise you of the right type of oil for your car.
Check your engine coolant:
Most coolant tanks have a max and min mark on the tank itself. You can visually check the level by looking to see where the fluid level is in comparison to the markings. This can be done more accurately when the engine is cold.
Do not open the coolant water cap when the engine is hot, this can result in serious personal injury!
Check your brake fluid:
On most new cars, the reservoir is transparent with lines marked ‘Min and Max’ and the brake fluid level should fall between these lines. Don’t remove the cap as the fluid absorbs water from the atmosphere; just rock the reservoir very gently so you can see the fluid move.
Check your screen wash:
The screen wash is the water bottle that contains the liquid that is sprayed onto the windscreen to clear away debris or dirt. This should be topped up with a mixture of water and screen wash.
Check your wipers:
Something that most of us never do, but checking your wipers are fully functional can save you a lot of time and avoid accidents.
It is also important to check for wear and tear on the rubber part of the blades, it can save your windscreen from getting scratched and prevent any unwelcome surprises.
Check your lights:
Make sure your lights work, most people don’t realise that a light is out until someone else tells them. So get a friend to stand outside your car, while you turn on the side lights headlights, indictors and brake and reverse lights. This is obviously also a legal requirement for driving on the road!