Things to check regularly on your car

Things to check regularly on your car

Use our handy guide to see which parts of car you should be checking often to help you maintain your vehicle.


Take a few minutes to observe all of your tyres (including the spare if you have one) for any worn patches or slits that could get worse over time.

Checking the thread on your tyres is also important, as it is illegal to have tyres that don’t meet the UK requirements. The thread needs to be at least 1.6 millimetres across the central three quarters tread around the whole of the tyre. Experts recommend changing your tyres before they get to the legal minimum requirement.


Checking the water level in your coolant tank is essential, because this stops your vehicle from overheating.

Usually, the level shouldn’t change unless the tank is leaking, therefore checking the water and the coolant tank itself is always useful.

It is advised to do this check when your vehicle is cool as the water can get hot, even after a short journey.

We recommend checking your coolant tank as often as possible.


Screenwash is used to clean any dirt from your windscreen that can obstruct your view during a journey. Without it, you’ll have reduced visibility that can be a danger you, pedestrians and other road users.

Every week, top up your screenwash to make sure you are prepared. In the UK, it is a legal requirement to have screenwash in your vehicle and a system that is fully functioning.


Especially in a rainy country like the UK, it is essential to maintain your windscreen wipers and replace them every year.

All three windscreen wipers are a legal requirement and any defect should be sorted immediately.

Every car model needs different wipers, so make sure you buy the correct set for your vehicle.


Some modern cars now have a warning light to tell you when one of your lights is faulty; however it is always best to check them yourself.

Get someone to help you check your lights at least once a week, or before you begin a long journey. In some unlucky circumstances lights can become faulty when you are driving, therefore we recommend getting to the nearest garage to replace the bulb before finishing your journey.


Your windscreen needs to be as clean as possible so you can see everything that is happening on the pavement and on the road.

Clean your windscreen by hand every so often and observe the glass closely for any minor cracks and scratches.

Any flaws need to be repaired quickly, as they can get worse and may cost you more money.

Engine oil

Having the right amount of engine oil in your car helps to maintain the engine and should be checked regularly.

Use the dipstick to determine the engine oil levels in your car once every fortnight or before a long journey.

Vehicle exterior

Check the exterior of your vehicle for any rust or scratches, which can become worse through weathering.

Rust can spread to vital areas of the vehicle, so we recommend checking underneath and around the exterior once a year at minimum.

Vehicle interior

Although the interior of the car isn’t vital, checking it will help you maintain the condition of the car if you decide to sell it in future.

Check for damp and mould on the seats and clean your car frequently for you and your passengers’ comfort.


To avoid interrupting your journey, make sure you have enough fuel to get to your destination.

Many breakdown providers are rescuing stranded drivers who haven’t put enough fuel in their car; therefore always fill up more than you need.

Breakdown cover

When you first receive your breakdown cover terms and conditions, take the time to see what you’re covered for and for how long.

Breakdown cover offers convenience and peace of mind, and will help makes repairs and services easier if you are already a member with a provider.

If you break down and you are not a member, you could find yourself paying more money for repairs and getting your vehicle towed.


Before any journey, put your foot on the brake to make sure it’s spongy and not slack. If your brakes begin to feel different, do not ignore the issue and get a specialist to fix the problem.

Having faulty brakes is dangerous to all road users and yourself, so take some time to check them and make sure they are safe to use.

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