How often do you check your vehicle? Once a week, once or month or never?
What are the benefits of making basic checks? Even with modern vehicles with electronic systems which appear to monitor everything, there is still an advantage to be gained by opening the bonnet once a week and having a look around the engine bay. Especially if you are a high mileage driver. Whilst you may not know how the engine works and in reality there may be an engine cover obscuring your view, a visual check may show up a potential problem. For example, oil or water on pipes can be an early warning of a leak. Seeing the leak and doing something about it could prevent a breakdown.
Checks should include your tyres. Make sure they are properly inflated. If your vehicle has a deflation warning system, make sure you have set it up. If you are not sure how the system works look in your owner's handbook for more information. Make sure you have at least the minimum legal tread depth of 1.6 mm and there is no damage to your tyres such as cuts and bulges.
Make sure lights are working. It is a good idea to carry spare light bulbs.
When did you last fill up the windscreen washer bottle? When did you last check your vehicle's fluid levels? If they are electronically monitored do you know how the systems work? Do you get an advisory amber light for low oil or is the first warning light you see red?
In the New Year I will be posting a video about how to make basic vehicle checks.
However, until then you will find all of the information you need to make safety checks in your vehicle owner's handbook. If you are a fleet driver ask your manager for help.
Click here for more information about vehicle checks from the AA