My car is an essential to my daily life, whether it be running my kids to their various clubs, travelling to work or taking a road trip with the family, if my car was to break down it would send our family into turmoil! Also due to travelling long distances quite a lot I think this is a simple, handy guide for anyone to follow. Now its coming up to the colder months giving your car a check up can help prevent those unnecessary problems which can arise at any time.
I have recently teamed up with Fife Autocentre* to explain the basic checks which you can do in order to give your car “a little auto love and care!”
Making sure your tyre pressure and tyre tread are legal is very important. To check your tyre pressure the best thing to do is to head to your local petrol station and use the tyre pressure machine to check and fill your tyres with air. If you are unsure on your correct tyre pressure then this can be found on the inside of your petrol cap or in your car handbook.
With the tyre tread legally it cannot be under 1.6mm. An easy way to check this (and something my dad taught me when I first passed) is to get out a 20p and pop it in the spacings of your tyre, if the edging of the 20p is visible then its time to get some new tyres! Also when checking the tread give the tyre a once over for any bulges or tears. If you want new tyres you can buy cheap tyres in Dunfermline with local fitting at Fife Autocentre
Having clean, visible lights during any season is paramount. Before setting off on a journey checking all your lights are fully functioning, including indicators, is essential. Just pop all your lights on from the inside of your car and walking around takes seconds. Checking the brakes however is not as easy. Two ways to check these is 1. Get someone to look at the back of the car while you press the brakes from the inside or 2. Reverse up to a wall and using your mirrors check them this way. Also make sure that all light covers are clean and free of any debris.
Brakes & Oil
Ensuring your brake fluid is topped up and your brakes are in fully working order is essential. The last thing you want is your brakes to seize on a busy road! An easy way to check these is to get yourself on a quiet road and do a couple of short emergency stops. Head to a garage as soon as possible if you feel they are not up to par.
To check your oil remove the dipstick from the engine, give it a clean, pop it back in and take it out again. Your oil level should be between the minimum and maximum lines. If you don’t have enough oil in your car then your engine will seize and practically eat itself. Try to do regular oil changes if you can to keep it fresh.
Giving your car a regular clean is a huge bonus as well, this can help prevent dirt getting into places that it doesn’t belong. Making sure you have enough screen wash is a must for every trip, driving with a dirty windscreen doesn’t bode well with the police plus it makes driving very difficult. Assuring the licence plate is clean and visible to other road users is also very important.
My Winter Survival Kit
Because its now coming up to the winter months having a winter survival kit in the back of your car is a necessity. Here is a handy guide on what to pack in the back of your car in case you were ever faced with a breakdown.
– Torch and batteries
– Little spade
– Emergency rations like food and bottles of water
– De-icer and scraper
All these checks take minutes out of your day and helps prevent your car going into meltdown.
Do you have any tips which you live by? Let me know in the comments below.
Until next time,