Vehicle Safety Check

Red Car being fixed at Clover AutosIts always important to keep your vehicle checked so that it is in the most safe condition. However as the seasons change it becomes even more important to get your vehicle checked. Its natural phenomena, such as getting used to dark driving conditions or icy driving conditions which tend to cause drivers to come unstuck.

For example, as I write this, we are coming in to the spring season. As a result we are starting to plan longer journeys in the car, (Easter get-away, half term breaks etc).

Tyre checks

  • The number one most critical vehicle check would be to get your tyres checked. The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm but this is just a legally required minimum and you should be changing the tyres before they get to this potentially dangerous limit.
  • Family vehicles will typically be spending more time on longer journeys than the trips to the shops or work and tyre pressures must be checked and set beforehand.
  • You should be checking tyres pressures at the very least once a month or more.
  • Your brakes and steering are only as good as the four hand palm print size tyre prints that connect you to the road do not underestimate them.
  • Over the winter months the tyres will have been subject to road salt and damp weather so check the tyre walls and treads for signs of perishing and cracking.
  • Pot holes may have caused bulges and cuts.
  • Do not forget to check the spare tyre and do not be tempted to carry an illegal spare once fitted to the car you could be fined.

Check your radiator

Coolant levels in the radiator or header tank should be checked. If they need topping up, check that you have the correct coolant type as there are several different types dependent on vehicle make and age. Most cannot be mixed. If the coolant level is low check for leaks, in theory the system is sealed and should not usually have to be topped up between servicing.

Check the engine oil

  • Engine oil should be topped up to the the maximum mark on the dip stick.
  • Check the oil after the engine has been switched off for a few minutes and left on a level surface (a sloping drive will give a false reading).
  • Check that the correct oil viscosity and type is used, this may involve a phone call to the garage where the vehicle was last serviced to check.
  • Most modern engines do burn a little oil between servicing this is normal and quite healthy.

Brake Fluid Check

Cars driving on wet motorwayUnless you are a trained mechanic, brake fluid should never be topped up by you. If you get it wrong, the consequences could be disastrous. The brake fluid system is a sealed system and if the fluid drops below the minimum mark you must have the vehicle inspected to find the cause of the leak immediately.

Vehicle Lamp Check

Check all of the vehicles lamps and illumination especially the brake lamps. If you are travelling abroad remember to take spare bulbs, a fluorescent jacket, triangle, alcohol breathalyzer kit (France), headlamp beam reflectors to adjust the headlamp beams.

Some final vehicle checks

Clean wiper blade rubbers and screens with some neat washer fluid or methylated spirit and replace if splitting.

Finally if you have any doubts about the above or would like some clarification give us a call or let us check the vehicle for you.

It’s also important to make sure your vehicle is winter ready, click here to find out more.

Find out more about Summer Safety Checks for your car by clicking here