I’m sure you’re probably familiar with this photo:
For me, it’s true. My car is a dump most of the time. I’ve just cleared out the boot while I was moving house for the first time in yonks and I found 3 pairs of shoes, two coats, headphones, empty drink bottles and loads of paper work. I’m a mess.
Not only does my lack of care for my car mean it looks untidy – but it also means I’m not taking care of everything else. I had my first MOT at the end of last year as my car was finally 3 years old from brand new. It cost me £800. Some of this could have been prevented with my looking after my car better – by either regular services to replacing things sooner rather than get hit with a hefty bill all at once, or preventing the damage by not going over speed bumps too fast which cracked my wheel brackets.
I don’t even know if wheel brackets is the proper car term. But they were cracked. Because I’m a terrible car Mum.
So here are some tips to take care of your car better than I do.
It’s recommended that you check your tyre pressure every two weeks. Most petrol stations have air where you can do this and blow them up. If you’ve never done it before and you’re a wimp link me, take someone with you to show you how. I was terrified my first time that the tyre would blow up, but they didn’t.
If your tyre tread depth is below the legal limit, not only is it dangerous as you won’t stop as fast in an emergency, but you could face 3 points and a £2500 fine.
If you need new ones, then get your tyres in Kirkcaldy from Fife Autocentre.
Use your dip stick every few weeks to check your oil level and top up if you need to. Check it before a long journey, too. If you’re topping up too much, then it may be worth taking your car to the garage.
Replace these once a year to prevent smearing.
Check that your coolant level is between MIN and MAX weekly. Also get your anti-freeze topped up before winter comes.
It’s a legal requirement that your screenwash system works – so keep it topped up with a good additive that stops it from freezing and clears oily grime.
Keep an eye out for any chips in your windscreen – if you’re hit with a stone or something, get it fixed straight away to prevent it from cracking. If it’s just a little nick, it can be filled in before it fully cracks and you need to fork out for a new window.
Check your lights once a week to make sure they work. Pro tip – if you don’t have anyone around to check your reverse lights, reverse towards a reflective surface such as a window. I actually got pulled up by the police once for having a break light out – although I didn’t get in trouble, I was terrified when I saw those blue lights flashing!
What are your tips?