Quick vehicle checks you can do yourself

Quick vehicle checks you can do yourself 10th November 2014

Carrying out maintenance on your own car is something that should always be left to the experts. Whether you're changing wiper blades, fitting new bulbs or changing tyres, experts will always be best to make sure that the job is carried out safely and that your vehicle is roadworthy afterwards.

However, that's not to say that you can't carry out some simple checks every now and again to give you an idea of how well your vehicle is performing. It can mean you have more faith in your car, especially throughout winter, and also lowers the chance of a failure while you're out and about. 

Best carried out every few weeks, we look at a few of the quick and easy checks you can carry out at home. 

  • Oil level. Like most maintenance, an oil change should always be carried out by experts, but you can check the level of your oil easily. Simply take out the dipstick and wipe clean, before inserting it into the top of the oil tank and checking where the oil comes up to on the measure. If it needs topped up, you can do this yourself without much hassle.
  • Windscreen washer. Especially important in autumn and winter when dirt can get on windscreens easily and wipers are used more often, you should make sure to check the level of windscreen washer in your car regularly. This can be done under the bonnet, and bottles are normally transparent to make your check simple. Make sure you top up regularly at this time of year. 
  • Lights. While you may not want to change a lightbulb in the car yourself, it's always a good idea to make sure that they are in good working order. It's simple enough to check too. All you need to do is turn the lights on and walk around the car to carry out a visual check. You can use the reflection in garage doors or windows to test things like full beam and brake lights.
  • Tyres. Finally, tyres are one thing that you should be checking all the time, regardless of how new they are. Even if your tread depth is legal, you always want to be on the lookout for bulges and cuts that can be indicative of a tyre that's about to fail. These should always be changed right away. 

Posted by Danielle Barge