Breakdowns may happen to other people – but never to me. We all think this –then it happens, and you can be certain the breakdown will happen at the most inconvenient time. You could be on the school run, going to work or travelling a long journey to your holiday destination with your children in the back of your vehicle asking ‘how much longer?’. Breakdowns are not only a pain but if you do not have breakdown cover/recovery in place it could also turn out to be very costly.
It’s not all bad news, most breakdowns can be avoided by simple vehicle maintenance, there are a number of steps that you can take to help prevent breaking down on the road. Please see below part one of Vehicle Maintenance guide which includes useful tips to help prevent a breakdown.
Owners of a vehicle are responsible for maintaining their vehicle. Regular maintenance and servicing by an expert such as A1 Clutches is important as it ensures your vehicle is in good working condition. However, in between services you can do some simple checks yourself, below you will find details of how to maintain your vehicle in between services:
Tyre pressure and the depth of your tyre tread checks are very important. Both under-inflated tyres, and over-inflated tyres can over heat and cause major damage to your tyres. Check your vehicle handbook to find out the recommended tyre pressure for your vehicle which can vary dependant on the load of your vehicle. Once you have found the manufacturers recommended tyre pressure, check it with a tyre pressure gauge. Ideally this should be done when the tyres are cold. If the pressure is incorrect inflate or deflate the pressure in your tyres to the manufacturers recommended level.
The performance and condition of your brakes is vital to the safety of your vehicle. You should test your brakes on a regular basis, which will help prevent a complete braking system failure, which can lead to accidents causing injury or death on the road. You can check your brake pads by looking through the openings on the outside of the wheel assembly. View the pad from above and estimate the depth by eye. If it is under a quarter of an inch, you need to take your vehicle to a specialist such as A1 Clutches.
If you hear a screeching sounds when you apply the brakes this also indicates that you need to change your brake pads.
Should your brakes not feel sensitive when pressure is applied on the brake pedal, take your car to your local garage to have this checked it may be that you need your brake fluid topping up.
Regularly check your lights to make sure you are not at risk especially when driving in the dark or in poor weather when visibility is poor.
You can easily check your indicator lights, switch on the ignition, apply the hazard lights and then check each of your indicators. Your indicators should flash between thirty and ninety times per minute. To test your brake lights, enlist the help of a friend then press down on the brake pedal to check all your brake lights are working also while doing this put your car into reverse and check that your reverse lights are working properly.
To check the headlights and tail lights, turn on the ignition and switch the lights on. Walk around your vehicle and check all these lights are turned on. Both your headlights should be equally bright and the beams should point slightly down and to the left. Also remember to check both full and dipped beam finally check that your fog lights are working and that the fog light warning light is working on your light switch.
A chip on your windscreen if left can result in a large crack which can result in vision of the road ahead being compromised leading to a potential accident it can also impact upon the performance of your airbags.
There are several specialist windscreen repairers who can repair cracked or chipped windscreens. As soon as you see a chip in your windscreen you should have it repaired as soon as possible, many companies will come out to your home or place of work to carry out the necessary repairs. Most insurance policies cover repair work on cracked or chipped windscreens.
Always get the work done as soon as possible as a chip very quickly turns into a crack resulting in the need for a new windscreen.
Finally check the condition of your wiper blades for cracks and split rubber in the blades, replace them if you suspect the slightest bit of damage and always ensure that your windscreen washer bottle is topped up to the relevant level.