Routine vehicle maintenance checks for hassle free driving

Without doubt the best way to prevent your car breaking down unexpectedly is to have it regularly serviced by a reputable qualified mechanic. In between services you can help keep your car in tip top condition by performing the following routine vehicle maintenance checks each week.

Tyres
Are they the correct pressure? (Use drivers hand book to check correct pressure for your vehicle)
Do they have adequate tread?
Are they damaged in any way? (Cuts in side wall nails or other foreign objects in tread) If a tyre needs regular top-ups, it may have a slow puncture.
Don’t forget to check the spare has good tread and is fully inflated.

Lights
Get in to a routine of checking all indicators, brake lights, fog lights, headlights and side lights are in full working order with no cracks in the casing or blown bulbs
For optimum visibility ensure lights are regularly cleaned to remove mud and dirt.

Engine oil
Check and maintain levels of oil weekly and before you embark on any long journeys.
Have the vehicles oil and filter changed at recommended service intervals using oil of the correct specification.
Excessive oil consumption can be identified on routine vehicle maintenance checks and can catch engine problems early.

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Power steering
Your power steering fluid reservoir should be checked by you mechanic at every service, however get in to the habit of checking the levels each week as part of your own routine vehicle maintenance checks.
Be aware that you should only top up the reservoir using the correct hydraulic fluid stated in the car handbook.

Water
Check the coolant level regularly and top up as require but be sure to only attempt this when the engine is cold.
Ensure your antifreeze concentration checked before winter.
Antifreeze is important all year round as it prevents corrosion within the cooling system as well as stopping the coolant freezing.

Wipers
Check that the blade rubber is not perished or damaged. For optimum performance, replace blades annually.

Screen-wash
It is a legal requirement that your screen-wash system works so checking it and toping it up should be part of your weekly routine.
Try and use a good quality screen-wash additive through summer and winter – water alone is not as effective at clearing your windscreen and freezes more readily in winter.

Windscreen
Check regularly for stone chips, even minor chips can grow in to large cracks. If you find any chips get them repaired or your screen replaced as soon as possible.

Toolkit
Ensure you know where the basic toolkit for the car is located. It should contain at least a jack and tools to remove the wheel.
Make sure you know where the jacking points are on your vehicle.
If locking wheel nuts are fitted make sure that you also have the locking wheel nut key.

Bodywork
Make sure you deal promptly with bodywork damage to prevent it becoming rusty.

If you have any vehicle problems in Leicestershire, Derbyshire or Nottinghamshire be sure to contact The Mobile Garage People on 0800 859 5306 or visit www.themobilegaragepeople.co.uk

Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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