Start of spring ‘the perfect time to maintain a car’

1st March 2013

Vehicle owners have been encouraged to use the return of the longer days and brighter nights as the perfect opportunity in which to get a beloved car back in tip-top shape.

Insurance company MotorQuoteDirect has underlined that the start of spring is an ideal time for drivers to properly maintain a motor.

Mark Hare, the managing director of Bedford Insurance, acknowledged: "Even though modern cars need little maintenance, owners should double check their manual to see how often certain things need changing, to avoid expensive trips to the garage." 
One of the main areas of maintenance which MotorQuoteDirect believes needs paying particular attention to is the health and condition of a car's tyres.

When focussing on this issue, drivers should spend a bit of time each week checking tyre pressures, ensuring tread depth is in line with the UK's road laws – 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre – and are free of any problematic cuts and bulges.

Looking specifically at tread depth, Mr Hare added: "The depth of the tyre tread is important because it's the only part of the vehicle that grips the road, therefore having a low tread will reduce control of the car."

Another important message that has to be listened to where tyre maintenance is concerned is that drivers must also monitor the condition of their car's spare tyre as well as the products currently in use. If not, motorists could find themselves in a tricky situation should their vehicle suffer a breakdown while on a road trip.

Once the tyres of a car have been checked and motorists are satisfied with their condition, Mr Hare has encouraged drivers to lift up the vehicle's bonnet and take a look at its oil level.

The expert pointed out: "The oil keeps the hardworking engine parts cool and running smoothly. Before you take a road trip, make sure you check the oil before you head off, as the engine is likely to overheat on longer trips, especially over the summer."

While owners have their car's bonnet up, it is advised that they carry out a few other technical vehicle maintenance checks on this part of the motor.

In the space of only a few minutes, drivers should be able to monitor the fluid levels of a car's engine coolant, brake fluid and windscreen washer and top them up where required.

These are highly important checks that need to be carried out on a regular basis, with engine coolant, for example functioning to remove excess heat from a vehicle's engine.

Meanwhile, stopping distances stand the risk of increasing to a dangerous measurement if there is not enough brake fluid in the tank.

From a financial perspective, Mr Hare was keen to stress: "These simple checks can cost a lot when using a mechanic, so it's definitely worth drivers running these basic checks themselves."

ATS Euromaster has a nationwide network of centres to carry out servicing and checks.

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