To minimise the risk of your car breaking down and increase on the road safety, drivers should carry out frequent checks on the vehicle to make sure the vehicle remains roadworthy.
- Tyres – Tyre tread depth and the condition of the vehicles tyres needs to be closely monitored. 1.6mm is the legal requirement; tyre tread should be measured using a depth gauge. Take a closer look at each of the tyres and make sure there aren’t any cracks, bulges or excessive wear. Excessive wear means a loss of grip which is potentially hazardous. Low tyre pressure wears your tyres out quicker and uses more fuel, so check the tyres are inflated to the correct pressure in accordance with the vehicle manual.
- Lights – Checking lights before setting out for a journey, especially at night is important for driver’s safety but also for the safety of others. There are a couple of quick and easy steps to take; firstly ensure the lights are clean, then switch on the ignition and turn on all the vehicle lights. Then you can step out of the car and have a quick walk around to check.
- Oil – Always check the vehicles oil with a cold engine. The engine needs to have had at least 15 minutes cool down time after switching off the ignition. To check the oil, lift the bonnet and remove the dipstick, wipe and then re-insert, removing the dipstick once more should be able to show how much oil is left in the vehicle. If unsure then ask someone else to check for you.
- Brakes – If your brakes start to fade then it goes without saying that the risk of having an accident dramatically increases. You can test vehicle brakes before departure by driving very short distances and braking to check the wear.
- Coolant – Keeping the vehicles engine cool is important so regular checks to make sure the engine coolant is sufficiently topped-up to the marked level is needed. Always fill with some anti-freeze to stop water expanding during colder months.
- Fluids – Make sure the vehicle has enough washer fluid, if your vision is impaired and you cannot clean your windscreen, the risk of an accident is greater. Lift the bonnet of the vehicle and fill the tank with screen wash.