Essential car maintenance checks you’re probably ignoring

Let’s face it, motoring is expensive. Especially when times are tight, it can be tempting to cut corners on the big expenses. But ignoring essential checks could just be storing up bigger problems (and bigger bills) for the future.

Regular authorised servicing, such as that provided at the Ford approved JenningsFordDirect ensures the big ticket checks are taken care of, but to keep your car in the best possible condition, you’ll need to keep on top of basic maintenance in between services.

Is your anti-freeze in order? Anti-freeze stops the coolant in your engine from freezing, preventing it circulating your engine and leading it to overheating. The team at Halfords have created a bank of ‘how to’ videos showing how to keep on top of various elements of basic maintenance, including topping up your anti-freeze.

Although one of the most important safety features in your car, many people take their brakes for granted. Brakes that are left to wear down can also cause knock on issues to your wheels and tyres – as well as being extremely dangerous. Another ‘easy to forget’ check is water. Keeping water levels topped up is easy to ignore until, that is, a dirty great lorry messes up your windscreen and you can’t see out. We’ve all been there, pulled the lever to clean the screen and heard the whirr of an empty reservoir. As well as the fluid in your washers, also make sure you’re checking your coolant levels to prevent over-heating.

Cars have warning lights to alert you to low oil reserves, but it’s better to keep on top of your oil levels before they get too low. It’s recommended to check oil levels weekly, or at least every two weeks and before any long journeys.

Tyre treads and pressures both need regular checking. Treads to make sure they are within the legal limits and pressures to make sure you’re getting the most efficient drive possible. Experts at theaa.com also remind you to check your spare tyre, as well as looking for cuts in sidewalls which may cause slow punctures.

The AA team have also come up with the acronym FLOWER to help you remember which basics to check every couple of weeks:

Fuel

Lights

Oil

Water

Electrics

Rubber


It’s also a good idea to give your car some special attention as we approach winter. In the cold and ice, motoring can be more challenging and it’s important your car is in the best possible shape to tackle the season with confidence.


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