WHY CARRY OUT BASIC CAR MAINTENANCE CHECKS?
In order to keep your car in good condition all year round, you should carry out some basic routine maintenance checks that will highlight any potential problems that can save you on unnecessary costs. Spending a short while on these basic checks every few weeks can save you a lot of time, headache and endless costly trips to the garage or dealership.
BASIC CAR MAINTENANCE CHECKS
Follow these basic checks also help you stay safe on the road and keep your vehicle legally roadworthy.
- Windscreen Wiper Blades – Clean your windscreen wipers regularly. Good windscreen wipers need to effectively clean the screen at all times and so worn out wipers could result in damage to the windscreen glass itself and can in turn be more costly than replacing the wipers themselves. A visual inspection of the condition of windscreen wipers should be carried out routinely, and ideally on a weekly basis by lifting the wiper blade arms and assessing the condition of the wiper rubber.
There are a number of different signs that show that the windscreen wiper requires replacement. Check out our guide here for more useful advice here. Note that Windscreen wipers lifespan is typically between 6 and 12 months but this depends on a number of factors including the brand / manufacturing quality.
- Tyres – Correctly inflated tyres keep you safely on the road. You should check the tyre pressures every 3 weeks or so (including the spare if this exists). The correct tyre pressure for your car can be found in either the owner’s manual (stored normally in the glove box) or on a placard located on the driver’s door jamb. You should always check your tyres for wear and tear, cuts, nails and the tread depth. The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm and but it should be 3mm during winter months to be safe. If you do not have a tread depth gauge, you can use a ‘20p coin’. Insert the 20p coin into the tyre groove and if it not visible from the outer band then the tyres do not need replacing.
- Cleaning your car – You regularly clean both the interior and exterior of your car and this has several benefits. As well as being clean it keeps you safe on the road, not to mention the sense of fresh odours. Do make sure to keep all windows, headlights and brake lights clean and clear so you improve your visibility on the road.
- Windscreen Glass – Use a microfibre cloth to wipe your windscreen regularly and applies equally to rear windscreens. side windows and wing mirrors. This can be more effective if you apply this with a gentle glass or window cleaning spray. You can clean the inside of your windscreen with both microfibre cloth and spray.
To optimise the cleaning, make sure to use a clean cloth and spray the cloth rather than the glass directly. Inspect the windscreens for damage such as small stone chips or cracks It is essential that you inspect the damage immediately as it is highly likely that it will get worse, comprising the windscreen strength. The size and position of the damage will determine whether the entire windscreen pane requires replacement or can be repaired.
You can find more tips and information on windscreen care here
OPENING THE CAR BONNET
You can carry out these simple checks under the bonnet but you must ensure the engine is switched off and it has had time to cool down.
- Screen Wash Levels – Most cars have a dashboard indicator warning light when the screen wash levels are too low. You can check where the screen wash reservoir is located by referring to your car manual. You can you can top this up with a quality screen wash and refer to the product specifications on dilution levels. Another useful tip is to use a small funnel to pour the liquid in to avoid over-splashing.
- Engine Oil Levels – Check where the engine oil dipstick is located by referring to your car manual. It is normally an orange or similar bright colour with a pull-string handle attached at the end. Pull out the dipstick and clean it with a cloth and then replace back in its place. Pull it out again and then check the oil levels between the maximum and minimum markers. If the oil line is closer to the minimum marker then we recommend you top up the oil. You can do this by carefully pouring oil by adding a little at a time using a funnel. Wait a few minutes each time for the oil to settle and then check the dipstick levels and repeat accordingly.
WHEN SHOULD I TAKE MY CAR TO A GARAGE?
Some of these checks are quite easy to perform. There are more technical checks that can be carried out such as brake, transmission and coolants fluid levels, car battery and filters. If you are unsure how to check these or any other problem you experience you should seek professional advice or refer to a car mechanic or dealership.
GET YOUR WINDSCREEN AT THE RIGHT PRICE AT UKCARGLASS.CO.UK
Here at ukcarglass.co.uk we pride ourselves in high quality service and products at low prices. Whether you are at roadside or not, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly expert team today who can respond and ensure your windscreen needs are suitably met and you are safely back on the road.