Sometimes accidents, breaking down and bigger than desired garage bills are just all part of driving and car ownership, but there are some easy steps that can be taken to help prevent issues.
Fife Autocentre* has created a new campaign called “A little Auto love ‘n care” to encourage the sharing of some basic car maintenance tips to avoid car breakdowns and troubles, but also to just ensure your car is always properly maintained. So easy it is to jump in the car and get on the road somewhere, without thinking ahead about a few things first.
A Little Auto Love ‘N Care
If you are in tune with your car, you can identify quickly when something does not sound, feel or look right, but do not let the garage identify other basic things you could have done yourself with these routine checks –
From the day I got my driving licence, my Dad has drilled into me the importance of checking my tyres. Tyre pressure should be checked monthly (unless you drive hundreds of miles a week, then definitely check more regularly), which you can do at your nearest petrol station. Your car manual should tell you the right pressure your tyres should be. Additionally, you need to check the tred –this can be trickier but if your tyre looks like it is beginning to get worn, your local garage will be able to advise if they need replacing. Just remember that in an accident, even if it was the other person’s fault, if the police find fault with your tyres the situation could be turned around on you instead!
How many times do you see cars with only one fully functioning light and wonder how they can possibly have adequate visibility of the road ahead, particularly on a motorway? Well, other drivers will be doing the same to you also.
In your practical driving test, you might have been asked how to check your lights and those same tips still apply here – get a member of your family to help, or pull up to something reflective that can help you identify if your lights are working properly. You can always switch all of your lights on, including the hazards and walk around your car to check there are no bulbs that need replacing.
3. Oil and Water
Again, regular monthly checks to ensure the levels get topped up to where they should be. I always keep a large bottle of water in the back of my car if ever I have radiator issues, or my washer runs out, and I would actively encourage you do the same.
Yes people, it might be hilarious to draw faces and write words in the dirt, but dirt can actually damage your car and hide areas that might be rusting and other issues.
5. Claire’s Car Survival Kit
I always keep a box in the back of my car with the following items in case I break down or find myself stuck in one of those horrendous all night queues on the motorway you hear about –
- A bottle of water to top up washer fluid and/or the car radiator (as I mentioned earlier);
- A fleece in case it is cold;
- A pair of gloves (as above);
- A change of socks (as above)
- An extra pair of shoes (albeit an old pair);
- A small mat or something dry to sit on if I have to vacate my vehicle;
- A torch.
I also keep a note pad and pen handy in the front of my car in case I need to record another driver’s details… or my own.
6. Other things to check –
- Is your number plate clearly visible to other road users? If not you could risk being pulled over and given a fine by the police. A simple wipe with a cloth will do the trick.
- In the event of an accident, do you know your insurance details and where to take your car for repair?
- Remember driving licences expire and need renewing every once in a while
- The expiry date of your MOT –it is a good idea to book it at least a week in advance of the expiry date so you have time to make any repairs and the MOT retested. If you live locally, MOT in Dundee can be booked on Fife Autocentre
When was the last time you showed your car a little auto love ‘n care?
Until next time x
*Post in collaboration with Fife Autocentre. All opinions are honest and my own.Follow