Passing your test is one thing, learning how to look after your car is a totally different subject. Apart from annual servicing, regular washing, waxing and interior valeting there are a few DIY checks you can make on the vehicle to make sure the car is in a roadworthy condition. Here are the key areas to monitor on a regular basis.
- Tyres: Your car has four rims of rubber and they’re the contact point with the road. Keep the tyres in good condition and check the tread, it should be at least 1.6mm across 75% 0f the central tread. It’s recommended to change your tyres when the tread gets below 3mm though to improve the stopping capability in the wet. You can buy tyre depth gauges to check the tread from motoring stores.
- Lights: Do a visual check on the front and rear lights. Ask to somebody to sit in the car for you and get them to press the brake light whilst you are at the rear. Replace blown bulbs as a matter of urgency, it’ll keep you safer and could prevent you being stopped by the police.
- Oil: Find out where the dipstick is and check your oil once a week. Do this when the engine is cold. Get a piece of kitchen roll, pull the dipstick out wipe it clean then push it back into the engine. Pull it out again and take the reading, the oil should be between the ‘min’ and ‘max’ mark. If it’s not, top it up and if you don’t know how to do this ask somebody that does.
- Coolant: Check the coolant levels by looking at the reservoir in the engine bay, the levels should be somewhere between minimum and maximum. Read your owner’s handbook if you need help finding the coolant reservoir, it’s easy to spot once you do a little research.
- Windscreen: Look for chips or cracks in your windscreen, check wipers for signs of wear and top up your windscreen washer reservoir on a regular basis. You should know where the windscreen washer reservoir is, it’s one of the questions you are asked as part of your test!