What Car? magazine is urging motorists to follow some simple steps – like making sure their tyres are in good order – to keep their cars happy.
As the magazine says: “Cars are complicated machines that need to be cared for to keep them reliable and safe.”
Its tips include:
• Check your tyres at least one a month and don’t forget the spare. Keep them inflated to pressures listed in your handbook and replace them when the tread depth reaches 2mm (even though the legal limit is 1.6mm).
• Don’t ignore problems. If you can’t fix it yourself, take it to a workshop to be put right. If you get a recall notice, take the car in for free repairs.
• Service your car according to the manufacturer’s schedule.
• Don’t think your car is safe for the next year just because it has passed its MOT.
• Check your lights regularly. Try them out in your garage or parked next to a wall and you won’t have to keep on getting out to see if they’re working.
• Keep windscreen washer, oil, coolant, power steering, clutch and brake fluid levels topped up but not overfull. Don’t wait for warning lights to come on.
• Park on level ground to check oil levels, and make sure you do it when the engine is cold. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean and then reinsert it to get an accurate reading.
• Replace worn wiper blades. Smearing dirt across the windscreen instead of wiping it off is a recipe for disaster.
• Adjust washer jets with a pin to make sure they spray on the windscreen and not in a huge arc over the top of the car.