1 Check your tyre pressure
It’s really important that your tyres are checked before you hit the road. A packed car can put a lot of extra pressure on your tyres.
Inadequate tyre pressure or tread could result in not being able to stop quickly in an emergency or may lead to a tyre blow out or puncture.
Don’t hesitate to get a professional opinion before your journey; not doing so could end in three points on your licence and a large fine!
2 Fill up your water
Your car’s engine coolant is a mix of antifreeze and water and the levels should be monitored to make sure the engine doesn’t overheat, causing a breakdown at the roadside.
You can check the coolant levels on the reservoir next to your radiator; refer to your handbook if you’re ever in doubt where to find it. In most cars, this tank is translucent so you can make sure the coolant sits between the minimum and maximum guide.
Only do this when the engine is cold and the car isn’t running.
3 Inspect your windscreen
A chip in the windscreen can be extremely distracting so it’s best to get this fixed as soon as you can; you could potentially save yourself from a small chip turning into something more serious and costly!
As well as chips and cracks, check your windscreen wipers are functioning as normal; wipers streaking the windscreen or leaving water untouched could be a sign they need to be changed.
Topped up screen wash is also very important and compulsory to pass your MOT test.
4 Test your lights
Take time to inspect all of your lights, from brake lights to indicators, making sure they all work as they should. This should be done on a weekly basis; using reflections can help you or you may need help from someone else. Take this opportunity to give them a wipe with a damp cloth to get rid of any dirt.
5 Check your oil level
Without the right levels of oil, the engine’s lubrication could be severely reduced; risking damage to your car.
If your car is mainly used for short commutes, there could be sludge from old, used oil. Topping up with fresh oil, without a proper oil change, will just mask the problem. This should be done during a service but if you are in any doubt, contact your local garage.
Finally, don’t forget the basics that can sometimes be overlooked. You’re responsible for your passengers, so take care to make sure all belts are fitted correctly for a safe journey and don’t rely on your warning light when your fuel is getting low – fill your car up before you set off.
Although we can’t always have a smooth journey, make sure you have the right breakdown cover so you have peace of mind that you can get back on the road quickly, whether that’s 5 or 500 miles from home.