Why regular Vehicle Checks and Maintenance can save you money in the long term

20th April 2017

Most of us have been there before, you take your car in for it’s MOT with your fingers tightly crossed in the hope that it will pass without issue. But research taken out by the DVSA has shown that if owners did regular checks and maintenance on their vehicles then half of faults found during an MOT could be avoided.

These checks and maintenance tasks aren’t particularly complex and so the DVSA is urging motorists to schedule them into their diary to avoid additional costs, or even a fail when MOT test day arrives.

Most common faults found during MOT Testing

Here are the top 5 faults that were found in vehicles undergoing their MOT from April 2015 to March 2016

  • 18.9% of vehicles had lighting and signalling issues. In a lot of cases, this could have been remedied by simply changing a bulb! That’s a fifth of all MOT tests
  • 13% had suspension issues
  • 10% had brake issues
  • 7.7% were down to tyre issues
  • 7.2% were issues affecting the driver’s view of the road

In the 2015 road casualties report for Great Britain it detailed that car defects were a contributory factor in 1,131 accidents with over 75% of those being attributed to braking or tyre issues.

What should I be doing to ensure regular maintenance of my vehicle?

Schedule in vehicle checks and maintenance on a monthly basis. If you do this, it shouldn’t actually take that long to complete and you will be able to identify issues early on.

Here are the main things that you should be checking for:

Lights

Check all of your exterior lights, make sure they are working. Give them a good clean and check for any cracks or broken lenses.

Oil

Check your oil level, don’t wait for the warning light to come on. You could already have potential engine damage by this stage. If you aren’t sure how to do this then refer to your handbook, or take it to your local independent garage who can show you how to do it.

Water

Check your coolant level, a lot of breakdowns are because water levels are low. If you seem to be topping it up frequently then check for any leaks. Whilst you do this, just top up your windscreen fluid. It’s a really easy way to remember.

Electrics

The top cause of breakdowns on the road are because of problems with your battery. Your garage can advise you if it needs replacing any time soon.

Tyres

If your tyres are underinflated then you could be putting yourself and others at serious risk. Not only that, but they won’t last as long if they aren’t properly inflated. This also leads to fuel wastage. Your handbook can tell you the correct levels. Most fuel stations will have facilities for you to check and inflate your tyres.

Of course, these are a few things that you can do yourself to ensure your car will hopefully pass that next MOT, but not only that. They can also help to keep you and your fellow motorists that little bit safer on the roads.

If in doubt, then please take your vehicle to your local independent garage before small faults or issues turn into something more serious.