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14th May 2020

Are you carrying out these 10 car maintenance checks?

Maintaining your car so that it remains in a roadworthy state is essential. Failure to do this could not only result in some hefty fines and points on your licence, but you also run the risk of endangering both yourself, other road users and pedestrians.

Of course, you should be regularly servicing your car and taking it to its annual MOT, but there are a number of other checks you need to carry out on a regular basis to make sure your car is running in tip top shape. Take a look at our ten essential car maintenance checks below.

car maintenance checks

Car maintenance 

Tyre pressure

Ideally you should be checking your car’s tyre pressure every couple of weeks. The correct pressure will help your car maintain traction on the roads, but it also helps with fuel efficiency. If you are unsure the correct pressure for your particular car, this is typically printed on the inside of your driver’s side door sill, fuel cap or in your car’s handbook. You can test this at home with a tyre pressure gauge or check your owner’s manual to find out how your car displays tyre pressure.

Tyre wear

Tyre wear will impact your car’s fuel economy, steering and your brakes, therefore it should be checked regularly. Tread depth should be a minimum of 1.6mm around the entirety of your tyre.

Oil levels

According to the RAC one in three vehicles checked have dangerously low oil levels. Your oil levels should be checked regularly to ensure it is in between the minimum and maximum levels, and topping up if necessary. Each car will require a certain grade of oil, again this should be detailed in your car’s handbook.

Screen wash levels

Your screen wash levels should be checked year-round, no matter the season. This is to ensure that debris from the road, whether it be grit, pollen or bugs can be easily cleared from your windscreen whilst you drive.

Coolant level

Your coolant will stop your car’s engine from freezing over or overheating, therefore it is vital that the correct levels are maintained. The level should be checked whilst your car’s engine is cool, the correct mix you need to use will be detailed in your handbook.

Brake lights

A crucial component to navigating the roads safely, your brake lights are a highly important part of your car maintenance checks. Ask a member of your house hold to help check the lights for you, or you can see the reflection in windows or other cars if done at night time.

Headlights

Of course, any car journey will require working headlights, not only to illuminate your path ahead, but also to signal your presence to other road users and pedestrians. Checking your headlights are working as they should, frequently, is a must.

Air filter

Often an overlooked maintenance requirement for cars, your air filter should be replaced once every 12 months. A clogged air filter will impact your car’s fuel efficiency, and could lead to reduced engine power.

Brakes

Maintaining your brake pads can mean the difference between brakes that work and brakes that fail, therefore it is obviously an essential maintenance check. You will often be given fair warning that your brake pads need replacing by your car emitting a squeaking noise each time you brake. On average your brake pads will need to be changed every 12 months or every 12,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Car cleanliness

Cleaning your car inside and out is not just for image purposes; it also plays a huge part in ensuring your car is safe to drive. Ensure you have clear footwells so that nothing can roll under your pedals and that the exterior of your car (with a strong focus on your brakes, headlights, licence plate and windows) is clean.

Want more helpful tips on all things cars and driving? Visit our ‘Hints and Tips’ page for the latest news and insights.