For many women, looking under the car bonnet is something we prefer to leave to the local mechanic. But knowing a few basic safety checks is important, both to keep you safe and to prevent costly repairs. Winter is an especially important time to ensure your car is roadworthy.
Here are five simple checks you can easily learn to do yourself!
Listen out for squeaking or grinding noises when you apply the brakes. This may mean your brakes need professional attention.
Check that your brake pedal is functioning correctly and not reaching all the way to the floor. Also ensure that your floor mat is not likely to cause any obstruction.
2. Fluid levels
Familiarise yourself with areas requiring regular fluid top-ups such as the radiator water, engine oil, brake fluid, automotive transmission fluid, clutch fluid, antifreeze and windscreen water.
Check both your front and back lights are working correctly (parking in front of a reflective window is a handy way to see if your rear lights are working). Also check your indicators and reversing lights.
Keep a couple of replacement bulbs in your glove box just in case.
The battery terminals should be clean and tightly secured. Check the electrolyte level and top-up with distilled water if needed.
A dead battery is a guaranteed way to ruin your day! Most batteries last around five years so bear in mind that if yours is older, it may need replacing soon.
Check your tyre pressure – including the spare. Most air stations have a tyre pressure guide on the side of the machine.
Give each tyre a thorough visual check for signs of wear. The tread depth should be no less than that of a match-head. Uneven wear may indicate poor wheel alignment.
Supplied by MTA