Now that it’s a steady temperature of at least 15 degrees a day in the UK, come rain or shine, we’d classify it as our ‘summer’. Despite the disheartening weather, we always make the most of the sunshine and there seems to be quite a bit of it this year (long may it continue)! During the warm weather we all plan road trips to go to the beach or see friends and family, but do you ever check your car before you go on your summer holiday? Probably not. We’d hate you to be THAT person on the hard shoulder with a broken down car this summer… to avoid it, the Auto Solutions EK team have put together this guide that you can easily do in your own home. These are the simple things you can do to make sure that your car is at minimal risk of breaking down this summer.
Sounds like a job a mechanic should do right? Well, you’re wrong because it’s something you can do yourself at home (yes, seriously). They’re one of the most important assets to your car and that’s why it’s important to do a visual inspection on them every two weeks or so. When doing this one thing you should look out for are bulges in the sidewall as they could be an indication of structural damage that could lead to a blown tyre if it isn’t taken care of. Something else you should look out for is anything stuck in the tyre, for example, nails or pieces of glass. We also recommend making sure your tyre tread depths are at least 1.6mm as that is the legal requirement. Doing these little checks will allow you to spot any problems earlier on.
The things we take for granted are often the things we forget about. We wouldn’t be able to see clearly when driving without our windscreen wipers and the screenwash in our car. So, why do we never check them? Screenwash cleans up road grime, bird droppings and insects amongst other things but it needs to be refilled from time to time. Modern cars have a little orange light that comes on when it’s running low. When this happens you’ll need to open up your bonnet, locate your screen wash bottle and refill it. Screenwash can be purchased at supermarkets, DIY shops and petrol stations.
Something that is often left for independent garages to do is refilling things and checking all of the things under the bonnet. It can be intimidating to people who don’t know much about cars but it doesn’t have to be. There are some things you can check yourself, for example, the coolant, the level of it should be sitting somewhere between the ‘MIN’ and ‘MAX’ markings that you see on the expansion bottle. If you’re not sure where this bottle is located, you should refer to your car’s user manual. You can also check your car’s oil levels by seeing the level of oil between the ‘MIN’ and ‘MAX’ markings on the dipstick. This should be done fairly regularly. If you leave it until the emergency light comes on in your car you could be risking damage to your car.
Checking your lights is a very simple task and an essential one. Doing this will allow you to see how bright they are and to see if any of them need to be replaced. To do this check, simply turn all your car lights on and walk around your car to see what’s happening with them. You should also get someone to help you check the brake light. Another thing that’s important to check is your indicator and if anything needs to be changed we recommend taking it to a local garage.
These are simple checks you can do at home to make sure that your car is running smoothly this winter. If you’re still not sure what to look for and are worried about driving on a long journey and breaking down, we provide free visual inspections for your car to keep your mind at rest. Auto Solutions EK provides MOT testing, servicing and repairs at affordable prices for customers in East Kilbride and surrounding areas. Book online today or contact us for any advice about your car, van or vehicle.