Are You Neglecting Your Car?
The results of a survey by Trusted Dealers of 1000 drivers have been published and the news is not good ….it seems 50% of us are neglecting our cars …… At Rivervale we’ve had a look into what we are all forgetting to do and have put together a guide to some basic car checks you can do at home…..
They serve us well every day, providing a convenient mode of transport no matter what the weather, hopefully they never let us down - yet still 50 % of us are neglecting our humble car. Cars need some TLC too, and that doesn’t mean just buying a new air freshener every now and then! 32% of drivers surveyed admitted to not even knowing how often their vehicle should be serviced. And I’m sorry to all the ladies, but the survey found only 47.4% of female drivers carried out routine checks compared to 87% of male drivers who claim they do.
So why are we being so neglectful? Is it because we just don’t have time? Or do we not know what it is we should be checking?
Well here is a guide to some basic check you can carry out at home ………
- Tyre Pressure – the correct tyre pressure is essential. Too much air will result in reduced stability in braking and handling round corners. Too little air will shorten the life of the tyre and make it more vulnerable to failure. The wrong amount of air will also reduce fuel efficiency so get checking! The correct tyre pressure varies from vehicle to vehicle so check in your manual, inside the driver’s door or inside the petrol cap for the pressure that’s best for you. Check your tyre pressure when the tyres are cold as warm tyres may give you a false reading……and just to complicate matters more the correct tyre pressure will depend on the weight in the vehicle. So if you are carrying lots of passengers or have the boot full of luggage check again! Aim to check your tyre pressure at least every 2 weeks.
- Tyre Tread – The law states the depth of tyre tread must never go below 1.6mm in a continuous band across the central ¾ of the tyre, although many garages will recommend you change the tyre once tread reaches 3mm in depth. So get checking to stay legal! All you need is 20p to check your tyres watch the video below to see how…….
- Oil Level – Try to check your oil level every 2 weeks or before a long journey. Always check your oil level when the engine is cold. Leaving the oil to run low puts your engine at risk of seizing up and too much oil can also lead to expensive repairs.
- Water – keep coolant topped up and make sure you have antifreeze, especially before the winter. Coolant should be topped up when the engine is cold and try to have a look every 2 weeks at the levels.
- Windscreen – it’s a legal requirement that the drivers view is obscured by anything on the windscreen. Check your wipers they will wear down with use leaving smears across the windscreen, replacing wipers once a year should keep your screen smear free. Keep your screen wash topped up and splash out on a screen wash mix as water alone won’t get rid of any greasy or oily residues. Finally always get chips seen to immediately, most windscreen specialists can repair a chip, but if it’s left the chip may become a crack leading to you needing a whole new windscreen.
- Lights! Other drivers and pedestrians need to see you, so have a walk around and check all your lights are in good working order!
Just doing these few basic checks will help keep your car running efficiently – if you’re not confident then find a friendly mechanic to help you out! Of Course if you choose to have one of our maintenance, service and tyre packages with our lease cars we can help take some of the worry out of your motoring!
If reliability is top of your list when looking at new cars - the Honda Jazz was rated the most reliable car 2014 according to Auto Express readers.
The comments above do not necessarily reflect Rivervale's views unless clearly stated.
22 September 2014
Written by Rivervale