How To Perform a DIY Car Maintenance Check

Regular maintenance checks are a great way to keep your car in sound working order and can stop minor wear and tear turning into a much bigger and more costly repair.

You don’t have to be a trained mechanic to carry out some basic car maintenance. We have outlined some simple steps you can follow below, and if you notice any warning signs you can always contact us for further investigation.

Engine Oil

Find the dipstick, which is usually a bright colored circular piece of plastic in the center of the engine. Lift it up and with a tissue or cloth wipe the oil off of the bottom. You should notice a minimum and a maximum level indicator. Dip it back in, all the way, and carefully remove it again. If the oil is below half full then it should probably be topped up. Replace the dipstick and remove the oil filler cap – this is where the oil will be poured. You can then check if you have topped up enough by repeating the steps above.

Coolant

Remove the cap from the coolant filler; you should see a minimum and a maximum level indicator. Top it up if necessary and make sure you replace the lid securely.

Windscreen washers

Remove the cap from the windscreen washer filler, you’ll notice a minimum and a maximum level indicator. If it needs topping up you can do so with washer fluid, or if you have ran out you can use plain tap water.

Windscreen

Small stone chips can develop into large cracks and if caught early can be repaired by a windscreen specialist. Leave them too long and you may end up needing to get your whole windscreen replaced.

Tires

To make them easier to check, turn the steering so the wheel faces out from the arch. Check you have a good tread of at least 1.6mm depth across the center three-quarters of the thread. You can also run your hands around the front and back of the tire to check for cuts, tears, and curb damage. If you do have any cuts or tears, make sure these are seen to as soon as possible as they could cause an accident. The last thing you can do is check the tire pressure. If you are unsure what it should be you can consult your manufacturer’s handbook or give us a call.

Lights

It is important to check all your lights are working, and you might need someone else to help you with this. Consult this checklist below to ensure you don’t miss any out:

  • Rear lights
  • Brake lights
  • Left indicator (back, front and side)
  • Right indicator (back, front and side)
  • Hazards (back, front and side)
  • Reverse lights
  • Fog lights (back and front)
  • Headlamps
  • Registration lights (back and front)
  • Sidelights (back and front), Dip lights, Main Beam