A guide to general car maintenance

Looking after your car is essential and it shouldn’t just be left to the time of the service and MOT.

Looking after your car is essential and it shouldn’t just be left to the time of the service and MOT.

You should keep up the maintenance of your car yourself as this will help you to diagnose any problems that may arise.

There are a few things that you should check on a regular basis or before a long journey:

Tyre pressure:

The pressure of your tyres should be checked regularly to make sure you have enough air in them, you can do this by firmly pressing on the top of the yire with your foot – if you make the tyre sink at all it needs more air.

The tread depth on your tyres needs to be checked as well – it should never be less than 3mm, if it is, your tyres are worn and won’t grip the road as well as they should which could prove fatal if you lose control of the car, or in bad weather conditions.

Washer Fluid:

Always make sure you have enough washer fluid or water in your washer jets. This is easy to check – all you need to do is lift up the bonnet of the car and look for the tube with a little water drop on it (check your car manual as yours may be different) and just make sure it’s nice and full but not close to overflowing. Without enough water you may not be able to clean your windscreen mid-journey which could be very dangerous.


This is a standard safety check and it should be made if you anticipate driving in the dark or before a long journey; you need to turn your headlights on and step out of the car to make sure they’re both working – then do the same with the full beams.

You’d be surprised how easy it is to drive with just one headlight working without noticing; if a bulb has gone these are very easy to replace yourself and instructions on how to do so should be in your car manual.

Oil Level:

Checking your oil level is absolutely essential; in fact this is probably the most crucial part of your car maintenance as without adequate oil levels your car will immediately become very dangerous and you must not drive it. Checking the oil level is easy to do by removing the dipstick from the tube – the level should reach the line marked ‘full’.