Modern cars are very high functioning but as anything that is made of hundred and hundreds of individual working components, things will go wrong.
It’s easy to be blasé about car maintenance and just think that when issue arises with the functioning of your car you can just pop into the nearest garage. But some DIY maintenance not only saves you money and prolongs the life of your car, but also ensures you are driving safely every day.
Here’s the important things you need to ask:
Are Your Tyres Legal?
Tyres in the UK need to be within certain conditions to be legal and also to ensure a safe ride. Periodically, you should check your tyre tread is within the legal limit which is a minimum of 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre. You should also regularly look for damage and also check your tyre pressure. The recommended pressure for your particular model of car is detailed in your user manual or online.
Be Aware Of The Weather
Do you ever stop to think how the weather can affect your car? This recent UK summer heatwave can play more havoc with your car than you think. For example, when it’s warm, the air pressure in your tyres is higher, and when it’s cooler the pressure is lower. The tyres aren’t what supports the weight of your car, it’s the air in the tyres, and it’s usually kept at a temperature of around 32 PSI, or pounds per square inch.
They say that the sun’s influence on tyre pressure can make up to 15% difference. Those black tyres in the hot sun can really absorb the heat, passing it on to the air inside. Make sure you look after your tyres in the recent hot weather, and if you need to replace them, you can purchase your car tyres in Wakefield from Ossett Tyre House‘
Are Your Brakes in Good Working Order?
A car’s brakes are one of its most essential safety measures and the potential consequences of brake failure is not something anyone wants to contemplate. You might have an anti-lock warning light, but this doesn’t preclude a regular check that your brakes functioning correctly and do not require placing. Brakes shouldn’t feel spongy, slippy, or slack.
There shouldn’t be any grating noises when you press on the pedal, and your car shouldn’t pull to one side when braking (an indication one brake pad is worn). Ideally you should perform the basic “press” test before setting off on any journey. Don’t neglect your handbrake in reviewing your brakes. It should fully engage, and the car should always be stable when stationary.
Checked Your Fluid Levels?
There are five fluids essential to a smooth and safe ride in your car. These are engine oil, brake fluid, coolant (radiator), windshield washer fluid, and if your car has it, power steering fluid. To carry out fluid checks, your car should be stationary with the handbrake engaged on level ground and with a cold engine. Your user manual will indicate where to find each fluid’s container and how much it should contain.
Is Your Air Conditioning Functioning Correctly?
If you’re heading on a road trip in summer, you’ll need to ensure your air conditioning is working. We complain about the weather in Britain but on the days the temperature soars, the cold air from the aircon unit is beneficial for both the driver and any passengers. Book an air conditioning service if you can…
Is Your MOT Certificate in Date?
MOT certificates are a legal requirement in the UK. The test certifies your car is roadworthy and safe. It will identify existing problems that need to be fixed for your car to pass the test and will also advice of any potential future problems that don’t impact the test result on the day but may for the next test.
You can book your car into your local autocentre for a regular service to check all the items mentioned above but most of these can be done by yourself. Keep your car well maintained saves time and money and is safer for you, your passengers, and other road users.