Car & Van Maintenance Tips

Man in jacket has a car bonnet open checking the oil levels

Whether you drive a company vehicle or your own, it is important to ensure that you keep on top of the maintenance of your car to stay safe and also reduce the chances of breaking down.  Whilst making sure that you stick to the manufacturer’s advice on servicing, there are some simple checks that you can do before you start your journey. 

What regular checks should you make to your vehicle?

  1. Engine Oil – the oil level in your car should be checked every two weeks or before every long journey that you’re going to take.   
     
    When you do check your oil, make sure that you’re on flat ground (as a slope can give a false reading), clean the dipstick with a cloth or kitchen towel before reinserting it to check what your oil level is.   
     
    Once you have checked your oil and discover that you need to top it up, make sure you use the correct oil type, otherwise you could damage your engine which would lead to an expensive repair cost!
     

  2. Water levels – overheating is a common reason for car breakdowns and the best way to overcome this is to make sure your water levels are correct.  When your car engine is cold, check that the coolant level is between the min and max lines.  If the level is low, check that there are no leaks and if not then top up appropriately.    
     

  3. Lights – Check all lights on your vehicle once a week.  This should include headlights, indicators, brake lights and fog lights.  It’s also a good idea to carry a spare set of bulbs in the car should any of them brake.   
     

  4. Screen wash – always keeping your screen wash regularly topped up is a good practice, but did you know that by law your screen wash system must work?   
     
    This is a key maintenance tip during the winter months as well.   
     

  5. Windscreen – chips can happen from time to time and if you do notice one on your windscreen, get it repaired as soon as possible before it ends up making a larger crack and you have to replace the entire windscreen itself.   
     
    It’s also good practice to replace your wipers once a year or so to prevent any smearing which can impact your vision.   
     

  6. Tyres – your tyres should be checked regularly for wear and that the pressure is in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines.  This can normally be found on the inside of the car by the drivers or passenger’s seat when you open the door.  By maintaining the proper pressure in your tyres, you will also increase the fuel efficiency in your car which can help to reduce fuel costs.  

    The legal limit of tread on your tyre should not go below 1.6mm, however it is recommended that you consider changing your tyres at 3mm so you stay as safe as possible on the road.       

 

By following the above tips you should minimise the chances of breaking down, improve your safety on the road and also help with your car’s fuel efficiency.   

ABAX can also help to improve the cost of running your vehicle through our Driving Behaviour product which gives you a score on how you are driving as well as tips of where this can be improved.