Overview: To ensure you can carry out essential safety checks on your car including:
- Petrol Levels
- Oil levels
- Water levels
- Rubber (tyres)
- Clear windscreens and windows
To know what to check and how often to check it.
To ensure the safety of your car and what you should do before starting any journey.
- To know how often to perform important safety checks
- To know what routine checks to make to ensure your car is safe to drive
- To know how often to have your car serviced and why
- To understand what checks to make before starting a journey
- To understand the importance of ensuring windows are clear
Each time you use your car check:
- Windows – That they are clear and you can see out of them
- Mirrors – Clear, clean and in the right position
- Petrol – Enough for your journey
- Tyres – Not flat or damaged
At driving-pro we have a thing called The Drivers ABC. Always Be Checking.
These checks are important to ensure your car is safe to be driven. They should be carried out at least once per week. On a driving test these are the Show MeTell Me questions.
- Under the bonnet: Oil, brake fluid, engine coolant and washer wiper levels. For how to do these checks see BLOG under the bonnet
- The outside of your car: Tyres and lights. For how to do these checks see BLOG outside of the car
Your car should have a full service carried out at least once a year. Or when the car has travelled it’s service interval. This will vary between cars but about every 10 000 miles for most. Some cars have a diagnosis system and will tell you that they require servicing. If you use a good mechanic they will be able to run a professional eye over your car and make sure it’s safe.
Servicing should be carried out in addition to a yearly MOT test. The MOT provides a technical safety inspection of the car. This is to keep everyone safe including you. A normal service will check wear and tear on the vehicle and replace parts where necessary. Servicing can also pick up issues with the car before they become more serious. This will help ensure the car remains safe to drive and may save you money on more expensive repair bills.
Planning for journeys
Before you begin any car journey, there are some things you should check to make sure your car is fit for the trip. This should be done before each trip but is especially important if you are planning a long journey.
Checks to carry out before every journey:
- All of the lights on your vehicle are clean and working
- All of the windows and mirrors are clean and free from obstructions
- You have enough fuel for the journey, or until you arrive at a petrol station
- Oil, brake fluid, engine coolant and washer wiper levels are good
- Tyres are the right pressure and in good condition
- That your sat-nav is up to date with the route already programmed in and you know where you’re going
Clearing your windscreen
Before beginning any journey, you must always ensure your windscreen is clean and clear of anything blocking your view.
It must be demisted completely before beginning your journey. This can be done by either using the cars windscreen demister button (if your car has one) or by using the air con or heater. If the windscreen requires wiping, a micro-fibre cloth should be used to avoid smears on the glass. Rear windows and mirrors should also be cleared either by using heated window controls or with a cloth.
Snow, leaves, ice or other obstructions should be removed entirely from the windows and mirrors before making any journey. Snow should also be removed from the roof of the car, in case it slips onto the windscreen whilst driving. Use a de-icer spray. Never use hot or boiling water to remove ice from your windscreens.
Get rid of bird pooh as soon as you safely can. The longer you leave it the more difficult it is to remove.
It is important for your safety and for that of other road users, that your car is safe to drive. Also that you are prepared for any journey you are about to take.
You should know:
- What to check and how often
- How to keep your windows clear
- What to check before either a short or long journey
The Highway Code Rule(s): 89,97 and p128
Driving The Essential Skills: Section(s) 5 and 14
On your driving test: