Monday 28 May 2018

Car safety maintenance for safe driving

I’ve been a driver for over 15 years. From when I got my provisional licence my grand-dad taught me basic car maintenance. I even learnt how to do a service on my classic-style Mexican VW Beetle such as doing oil and filter change. He always said it was vitally important to ensure your car was well maintained and safe to drive. His lessons and wise words have stayed with me ever since.

Now that I am a parent maintaining my car so that it is safe and sound and in good working condition for safe travelling is more important than ever.

With the nicer spring weather starting to make an appearance and summer ahead of us the roads are getting busier than ever. People are on their travels; whether it is for a great day out or to pop to the beach or on staycations around the UK. As we all hit the road for adventures having a car in good working condition can make the difference in keeping safe on the road.

Keeping a car in a roadworthy condition and safe is not just a matter of having an MOT as mechanical faults can happen anytime in between MOT’s. As well as regular car servicing here are a few key things that you can check yourself to help maintain your car -

Know your car
All cars drive differently. Getting to know the feel of your car can help you recognise when something is not right. A new squeak or sound could be a warning sign of a problem with suspension or a damaged wheel bearing which can be very dangerous, the car not having as much power as normal or struggling to keep speed up hills could indicate a problem and brakes grinding or not being as responsive as normal could be a sign of a problem with your braking system and you really do not want your brakes to fail when you need them most. 

Also get clued up on what the different warning lights mean on your car so you know how quickly you need to head to your nearest garage. If your car does not feel like it normally does or you notice an issue, regardless of how insignificant you might think it is, it could be a sign of a serious problem and as such it is important to get it checked by a qualified mechanic.

Ensuring your tyres are in tip top condition is vital for car safety. Worn or under-inflated tyres will reduce your ability to control your car. As well as being vital for car safety - a tyre blow out whilst driving can be catastrophic - tyres in good condition helps your car drive smoothly and improve petrol consumption.

Regularly checking tyre pressure, tread depth and overall condition of tyres should be a part of your typical car maintenance routine. You can buy handheld tyre pressure gauges and pumps or use the ones available at most petrol forecourts. If there is an issue with your tyres or they are nearing the legal tread depth limit it is important to get them changed. It is also worthwhile ensuring you have a spare tyre and that it is in good condition along with tools to change a tyre if you get caught out and about with a flat or punctured tyre.

Shine bright - check your lights
It is very important to make sure all your car lights are working and working correctly including headlights, brake lights, fog lights and reversing lights. Lights are important to ensure that you are visible to other cars and pedestrians to help prevent accidents. Top tip for checking lights if you don’t have someone to help you is park in front (or reverse at to see rear lights in mirror) of a white wall or shop window at night and see them yourself.

Under the bonnet
There are a few things you can check under the bonnet to ensure your car is ready for travels. It is important to check engine oil regularly using the dipstick. Check the oil when your car is parked level rather than on a slope. Regular oil changes during car service will help keep your car running well. If you notice that the oil is being used especially quickly then take it to a garage to check as it could be a sign of an oil leak or head gasket issues.

It is also important to check that the engine coolant is between the minimum and maximum marks. Always check this when the engine is cold. Another must-check is screenwash. It is important to have plenty of screenwash in the bottle so you can keep your windscreen clean so that visibility is not reduced. If you do not keep your screenwash topped up and get stopped by the police with a dirty windscreen you could also end up with a fine.

These are just a few of the things that you can check to ensure your car is roadworthy and safe for journeys a few other things include checking wipers work,  ensuring the horn works or that your exhaust is secure and not blocked. Regular checks on your car need to be made all the time especially before long journeys. It is also worth ensuring you have a few car essentials available in case of a breakdown or accident such as warning triangle, jump-leads or portable power pack to jump start the car, first aid kit, fire extinguisher and torch.

Unfortunately you can’t guarantee that a warning light will come on to make you aware of a problem so checking and maintaining your car regularly helps solve any problems before they cause a breakdown or accident. It is also important to have your car MOT and service. If you are looking to save time, you can book car service online at Ossett Tyre website. As a car driver it your responsibility to ensure your car is roadworthy so check your car today and get into a regular car maintenance routine.

How often do you check your vehicle?

* Sponsored post in association with Ossett Tyre House *

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