The Responsible Driver’s Car Maintenance Checklist
Car owners rely on their vehicles to get through their days, so it goes without saying that the last thing you want is for your car to break down or not cooperate when you need to go somewhere. Taking the time to maintain your car will ensure that your car runs efficiently, economically, and that it needs fewer repairs over time which will save you money in the long run.
If you’re not mechanically-minded, the thoughts of car maintenance can become overwhelming quickly. However, you don’t need to change the oil, carry out repairs or deal with anything significant under the hood if you don’t have the skills to do so. In fact, even with virtually zero knowledge of how your engine works, there is a lot that you can do to keep your car in tip-top condition so it is always there for you when you need it.
Let’s take a look at some car maintenance tasks that every car owner should complete regularly to ensure their vehicle stays safe and running as expected.
Check Your Electrics
Modern cars come with more electrics on board than ever before, from the headlights to your car battery. Taking the time to walk around your vehicle from time to time to check that all of the lights, indicators and other electrics are working, will ensure that your car is safe to drive.
Checking the oil levels once a month is a good idea for a car owner. When your car runs low on oil, the results can be disastrous, leading to anything from a breakdown to a blown head gasket. The oil level should always be between the minimum and maximum levels on the dipstick. If you’re not sure of what type of oil your car needs or where to fill it, it may be worth consulting your owner’s manual to minimise risks of causing unintentional damage.
Inspect The Tyres
Inspecting your tyres is important to keep you safe on the road. Inspect your tyres for signs of damage such as cracks, tears, splits or bulges. You should also check your tyre tread depth to ensure that it is up to code. The minimum tyre tread depth is 2/32 inches in the U.S. with a minimum of 1.5mm being quite standard across the globe. If your tyres are approaching this, you will need to consider getting new rubber for your wheels.
Engine coolant is there to prevent your car from overheating or even to stop your engine from freezing in extreme weather. In most cases, you won’t need to top up your coolant but it is always worth double-checking, especially if you are embarking on a long journey. Consult your owner’s handbook to find out where to check your coolant levels and which mix you should use, should you need to it up.
There’s nothing worse than driving down the road and realising that your windscreen is dirty, only to find out that you haven’t topped up your screen wash either! Driving with a dirty windscreen is very dangerous and should always be avoided, so if you have found that your windscreen needs a little bit of TLC when on the road, you should absolutely pull over immediately and at least top up your windshield wiper’s fluid reservoir with some drinking water.
Although drinking water can help clear the job in most cases, screenwash is definitely required for more heavy duty jobs and to keep your windscreen looking fresh on particularly long road trips. Screenwash can be bought in most garages and is necessary throughout the year. Make sure you keep yours topped up so that you always have a clear view of the road ahead.
Keep Your Car Running Optimally Moving Forward
To ensure that you keep your maintenance costs down, stay safe and have a vehicle that you can rely on, it’s important that you carry out basic car maintenance tasks from time to time. By following the tips outlined above, you’ll be fulfilling your responsibilities as a driver, ensuring that your vehicle is always ready for the road, whether you are going about your day-to-day tasks or setting off on an exciting road trip!