Car Maintenance Checklist – The Essentials
When thinking car maintenance, don’t forget to check for the following:
Lights – See And Be Seen – Keep your indicators and headlamps clean and working.
Fuel – Make a conscious effort to stay out of the red – even a long traffic jam can be enough to drain an almost empty tank.
Water – Make sure the water reservoir is up to the maximum mark and correctly mixed with anti-freeze – usually one-third anti-freeze and two thirds water, but check with your car owner’s manual to be sure.Oil – With the car level, check the oil on the dipstick, topping up if necessary. Also look for signs of leakages on the ground underneath the car.
Electrics – Check your dashboard before and after starting the engine, listen for a weak battery and carry spare fuses.
Windscreen and wipers – Wipers should be cleaned regularly and replaced every 12 months. You can add a smear proof additive to your screen wash solution to, as it suggests, prevent smearing. Make sure you don’t add anti-freeze as it will corrode paint work.
Rubber – Make sure to check tyre treads and walls for excessive wear and damage. If you come across any stones or treads in the flint, remove them. Check tyre pressure regularly, this includes checking the spare.
Some added tips – try timing the annual check before the winter. Terminals and connectors should be clean and smeared regularly with petroleum jelly, not grease, to prevent corrosion.
Be prepared for anything. Help reduce risks by simple things like:
Planning your journey in advance and carrying a map.
Not driving if you feel too tired – never drive for more than 3 hours without a break.
Sitting comfortably in the car.
Never drinking and driving.
And remember that frequent short stops are better than one long one.
Having read all of the above, you are ready to perform your own car maintenance.