Top 10 regular car checks

What regular checks should you make on your car to help it run smoothly and avoid breaking down? Check our our guide to the car checks your should make.

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By Chloe Martell

Updated on Dec 4th, 2020

No-one wants to break down by the side of the road, or wants to fail their MOT - it's not only inconvenient but also expensive. By performing regular car maintenance checks on your car - you'll hopefully avoid such nasty surprises, not to mention the fact that a well maintained car is likely to be more economical on fuel ;) As autumn and winter make their more dreary appearances, many of these checks become even more important. We want to help you stay safe on those dark days and wet conditions!

1 Tyre checks

Every couple of weeks, and before a long journey, you should check your tyre pressure and tread depth, as well as the condition of your tyres to ensure you are safe to drive.

2 Lights checks

Check all the lights on your car are working once a week, cleaning any dirt off them to ensure they shine bright. It's worth roping a friend or family member in to help you. Some modern cars with an on-board computer will let you know if a light has failed - but it's worth being in the habit of checking yourself.

3 Windscreen check

Keep an eye our for any damage or cracks on your windscreen. If you discover damage, you should get it replaced or repaired ASAP. Whilst we don't all keep our cars spotlessly clean - it's essential that you keep your windows clean to ensure you have the best visibility.

4 Wipers

Don't forget to give your wipers a wipe when cleaning your car. Getting them changed once a year should make sure you won't be caught short with smeary windows in the the rain - but if you notice they are dragging, check and clean them, and if it doesn't improve, get them replaced.

5 Screen wash

We've all driven down muddy country lanes and found ourselves having to spray and wipe the windscreen over and over again. To avoid being caught short, make sure you check it every week (and top it up if necessary) - and before a long journey. If you're struggling to top up your screenwash, we've got a guide to help!

6 Water

Every week, when the engine is cool, check the coolant level is within the minimum and maximum marks - after all, letting your engine overheat can cause damage. If you need advice on how to do this, check out our tips on topping up your coolant.

7 Oil

Check your oil weekly to make sure it's between the min and max levels. Again, make sure the engine is cool when you do this - and bear in mind that overfilling your engine with oil, can cause damage. Again, we've written a blog on how to check your engine oil - we're helpful like that!

8 Tool/emergency kit

In case of a breakdown, it's worth checking your emergency kit and tool kit are in the car. This includes making sure you have a spare wheel, your locking wheel nut (if you have one), a jack, extra water.

9 Car bodywork

When you're washing your car, or checking your tyres, it's worth giving your car's bodywork a quick once over to check for any signs of damage or rust.

10 Listen to you car

You'll know straight away if something doesn't sound quite right in the car. It's best not to ignore these things and hope they go away - instead make sure you get it checked out by a garage ASAP, as it may help you avoid a breakdown, or hefty garage bill later on.

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