With the end of lockdown in sight, there has never been a better time to ensure that your car is ready to go once the restrictions are relaxed or lifted. Read our 'Preparing your car for life after lockdown' article to find out more...
There are some straightforward checks you can do to make sure that your vehicle will start when you need it and that remains mechanically safe.
Car batteries fail for many reasons, but the most common is lack of use. Your car will have spent more time on the drive than the roads recently. It can take 30 minutes or more of driving to charge a battery. If your car doesn’t start, you’ve got a couple of options. You could try a battery charger, which plugs in at the mains or, if your battery has run out of charge completely you’ll need a jump start pack or some jump leads and access to another car.
All your tyres should be in good condition, so start by checking for cuts, splits or nicks. Get up close to look for glass, nails or screws that may be embedded in them. Don’t forget to check the spare tyre too. Wrongly inflated tyres affect the handling, so check they’re pumped up.
Check the tread depth on each tyre. Legally your tyres must have 1.6mm of tread all around. The simplest check is with a 20p coin. If you can see the outer band of the coin, your tyre tread is too shallow.
Check the condition of your rear windscreen wipers. If they’re failing, you’ll see smears on the windscreen. It is important to check your windscreen for chips. While they may seem minor, small chips can turn into big cracks very quickly.
The oil and coolant play a crucial job in keeping your car running smooth. Checking the engine oil and coolant is straightforward. Your coolant is stored in a plastic overflow container near the radiator and there’s an indicator that shows if there’s enough.