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Car maintenance and safety

Doing quick checks on your car helps keep it in good condition and prevents costly bills. It's also important for your safety.

The easiest way to remember to do these is to check them on the same day each month (for example the first Saturday) so that it becomes habit, and our autmotive teachers have some easy tips and tricks for you to follow.

Check the service and rego dates

With the retirement of rego labels it is all too common for people not to notice that their rego has lapsed.

A quick tip: put a label underneath your service sticker with the date that the rego is due. When you get into the car you can quickly check if it is due for service or registration.

Check your oil and water

Yes, that mythical place under the bonnet is where this can be found. With a lot of newer cars anything that needs to be checked is highlighted in yellow, this can include oil level dipsticks, brake fluid level, coolant reservoir and the windscreen washer fluid.

Check lights and indicators

It is easy to check the lights when you drive into the garage, turn on your lights and check them against the wall. This will allow you to check the high and low beams, and then left and right indicators from the comfort of the driver’s seat.

To check the rear, reverse in the next night and do the same for the rear, by using the rear vision mirror you can check the white reverse lights, brake lights, indicators and park lights. Alternatively, get some to walk around your car as you check each light and indicator.

Check wiper blades and washers

Check the operation of these vital items by giving them a run to make sure that when the rain or bugs get here, that they are ready to go. If you do a lot of highway or rural driving, add some bug remover or detergent to the washer fluid to help in cleaning the glass,

Check tyres and pressures

Tyre pressures are very important. If they are to low it will cost you money in excessive fuel consumption and decrease tyre life. Recommended tyre pressures can be found on a sticker located in the door jam or in the owner’s manual.

Don’t forget about the spare as it is hard to put air into it on the side of the road. It is also worthwhile to make sure you know how to change the spare, where the tools are, and if they work for when you do need them.

Some service stations have electronic gauges where you only have to set the pressure on the machine, plug it into the tyres, and it will beep when they are correct. If the tyres are not wearing evenly, causing a vibration, or have lumps on them, get them checked as soon as possible.

Check the air-conditioning

Run the air conditioning at least once a week for a minimum 5 minutes to make sure it still works and is operational. Even in Winter you can run the air conditioning to defrost the front and rear window with the heater on, it will remove the moisture and make it easier to see when you’re driving.