Seven regular checks you should do on your car – and why

Checking your vehicle regularly is so vital, especially before long journeys but whenever you’re about to get out on the road.   Follow our Essex car buying team’s seven-step guide below each time you drive, to make sure you’re always on top of your car’s road safety.

  • Fuel

This one may seem obvious but it’s very important not to get caught out, especially if you are driving on remote roads or during the holiday time when garages may be shut. Also it’s very important to make sure you put the correct fuel in your car. You’d be surprised how many people forget this one – based on breakdown company figures – and you don’t want to be one of them!

  • Oil

It’s very easy to forget to check your oil regularly (or just think it’ll always be OK) but if you allow your oil to get dangerously low this can lead to a breakdown or even engine damage. Make sure you check regularly with the dipstick or electronic features and if you aren’t sure which oil your car takes, check your car owner’s handbook, which will have this information.

  • Lights

Especially important if driving at night, but this applies to not just your headlights for night driving. Indicators, brake lights, reversing lights and fog lights are essential too. This is easy to do by either getting a passenger to check the lights as you test them, or if alone park near a reflective surface and see for yourself.

  • Screen wash and windscreen wipers

By law you are required to have working windscreen wipers and screen wash. High quality screen wash is easily available to buy in fuel stations and supermarkets so there’s no excuse to be caught out on this one. It’s important to get good quality screen wash with a wide temperature range so it doesn’t freeze when temperatures get low. Your windscreen can easily become dirty with bugs, pollen and dirt which can cause poor visibility – and accidents.

  •  Coolant

Having your car overheat or having a frozen engine on the road is that last thing you want. It’s always good to check your coolant level before you get on the road. Essentially this shouldn’t need to be topped up too often as it is a sealed system, but it’s always good to check for peace of mind.

  • Tyres

Keeping your tyres in good condition is essential for the safety of your drive and especially important for wet weather driving to make sure they can grip the road adequately.  Your tyres – by law – must have an absolute minimum tread depth of 1.6mm and if you are stopped by police and found to be below, this could incur a large fine or more. The best way to test this is with the ‘20p test’. To do this put a 20p coin into the tyre groove, then if you can’t see the outer rim you know your tyre is road safe, if you can still see the outside, change your tyres!

  • Brakes

Again, a no-brainer – but an easy one to forget. Properly functioning brakes can the difference between life and death in some cases. Check your brake fluid level and if low make sure you top up.

We hope these tips help you keep your vehicle fit for the road!

Thinking of selling?  Our expert car buyers will be happy to come and do a vehicle valuation at your home for convenience within our service area – we’d love to buy your car!  Happy driving.

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