All The Car Checks You Should Be Making And When
Your car undoubtedly covers a lot of miles. In fact, if you conform to the average you’re travelling an impressive 7,900 miles a year. Whether this is done in inner-cities, on motorways or off the beaten track in the countryside, your car is subjected to the elements on a consistent basis. This all contributes to basic wear and tear. Sometimes, this builds up outside of the MOT time-frame, which is why it’s so important to regularly carry out checks yourself. Here’s what you should be looking at and how frequently…
Every Month: Some of your cars systems and features need to be inspected on a regular basis if problems are to be avoided. These include things like your oil levels, coolant and antifreeze. Check for any leaks or spillage by moving your car from its usual parking spot and inspecting the ground it rests on. Inspect your belts and determine whether they look frayed or glazed. If they do, it may be time for a change. Make sure that all of your tyre pressures are sufficient and look for any signs of flattening. Look for wear, damage or uneven tread.
Every Three Months: It’s advised that you replace your oil and its filters around every three months. Also check the levels of your windscreen fluid, transmission fluid and power steering fluid. Should any of these be largely depleted, it could be indicative of a larger problem being present. Your battery will also need checking over. Examine it for any sign of leakage or corrosion, these can indicate internal problems within the battery. Also make sure that all of your lights are functioning properly, inside and outside of your car. Having a friend or family member help you inspect brake lights etc.
Every Six Months: The following checks can be done bi-annually, but are important in making sure that your car is safe to drive and is up to the task. Test your horn and ensure that it’s as loud and clear as it should be. Inspect your screen wipers and look for any wear or tears, do they look weak or brittle? If you have a spare tyre, take it out of the car and check its integrity and pressure; it’d be frustrating to replace a damaged tyre with another! Don’t forget your exhaust system, look for anything loose or coming loose. Rust and general damage should be searched for, too.
Generally speaking, your car should be inspected by a trained professional as a part of the MOT and regular servicing. However, this is not to say that you can’t keep on top of problems before they develop by learning the ins and outs of your vehicle. Most of the checks we’ve listed are accessible and can be carried out quickly. A small amount of time and an eye for detail are all that’s required to keep your car driving safely.
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