Learning to drive has been by far one of the best things I’ve done in life. It’s not until you pass your test and get behind the wheel of your own car for the first time, that you experience a new sense of freedom and not be restricted to where you can go depending on walking distance or public transport. I’ll be the first one to admit that driving has made me very lazy. Walking to the shops or anywhere close to home is a thing of the past as it’s just easier to jump in the car and go.
I passed my driving test 4 years ago now which is hard to believe sometimes. I wonder where the time has gone considering it only feels like I passed yesterday and I’m already on my fourth car. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been driving for or how many years no claims you have, staying safe whilst driving is just as important no matter how experienced you are. As the years pass and you become more familiar with driving, it’s easy to loosen the reigns and pick up bad habits. It’s not just forgetting to check your mirrors or forgetting to indicate that can cause potential problems, but also not looking after your vehicle correctly.
I thought I’d put together a quick post with some of the simple checks we should be carrying out on our vehicle’s, although a lot of us try to avoid them.
An annual MOT is compulsory for vehicles in the UK. During the MOT the car will be tested to make sure it’s roadworthy and will be carried out by a trained inspector. Areas such as emissions, lights, seat belts and the horn will be tested to make sure that everything is in full working order. Every vehicle needs an MOT and there are endless amounts of garages that offer the service like Ossett Tyre House in Wakefield, so there should be no excuses. It’s best to shop around as each garage will range in price and some allow you to spread the cost over a longer period of time.
Check the oil levels
Knowing when to change your oil isn’t normally an issue if you have a newer car as a warning light will appear on the dashboard. If your car doesn’t have this function then it’s important to check the oil on a regular basis. Checking how much oil your car has is straight forward and can save you a lot of money in the long run. If the vehicle is running low on oil and you’re unaware then it can cause serious issues. As well as running less efficiently, running on low oil will start to affect a number of components in the engine, eventually causing it to shut down completely.
Pay attention to the tyres
The condition of the tyres is often over looked but driving with damaged or bald tyres is illegal. Tyres that aren’t in the best condition increase your chances of coming off the road, especially in bad weather conditions. If the roads are wet or icy and your tyres are damaged then it reduces the ability for the tyres to grip to the surface, potentially causing a collision. An easy way to check if your tyres need replacing is to look at their appearance and to check the tread depth. Some people use the 20p test to work out whether their tyres have the right tread depth or not.
It’s important to not fall into any bad habits one you’ve passed your driving test and it’s even more important to carry out the relevant checks and services on your vehicle. Following all the necessary procedures means your journeys can be as safe as possible and reduce the risk of a collision.