Cars need a check-up every once in a while. While we recommend getting a service every 12 months, you should also check on your car every few months, and after each large road trip. There are several quick and easy ways to check if your vehicle needs a service sooner, and a few things you can DIY, in order to keep your car in top shape.
Seatbelts take a long time to wear out, but they should be checked regularly. You should check that all the seatbelts (including ones not used) work well and that they bounce back into place quickly. This may seem simple, but seatbelt elasticity can be the different between life and death in an accident. We also recommend checking seatbelts of any cars seats or finding a professional car-seat fitter to do this for you.
There are several things you need to check including
* Tyre pressure.
* Tyre tread.
* Baldness of the tyres.
* Evenness of baldness or tread.
* Wear, tear, bulges, splits, items stuck in the tyre such as glass and nails.
If one side of your car has balder tyres than the other, it may be time to get them balanced. Wear on the tread is unsafe in rain and snow, but also when driving off-road. You should also take your car in to the mechanics to get the tyres checked every 12 months.
You should ask them to do the following
* Check the wheel alignment.
* Check the tyres are still fitted tightly and that they do not need balanced.
* Check the tyre pressure is healthy.
* Check the quality of your spare, and then only need to repeat this every 5 years or if you have used your spare at all! Even if it was just for a 5km journey, the spare needs to be checked.
You should check the brake fluid levels or ask a mechanic to do this for you. Then you should try braking when moving forwards, slowly and quickly, and when reversing. If your brakes take too long to settle in, or you hear strange noises, or the car jolts and then keeps moving – take your car in to a professional. This is a clear sign that your brakes are not in a healthy condition and you do not want to risk them failing on you! It is much better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your brakes.
- The exterior
A clean car does not just look good – it is safer. Windows, mirrors, windscreens and headlight covers need to be clean in order for you to drive safely. It is also harder to check for damage to the windscreen or headlights and indicators if your car is dirty and they are obscured. If your windscreen is too dirty to be deemed ‘safe’ you may lose an insurance claim so get on top of it and give your car a wash!