Everything you should check before driving your car

And how to check them

Cars are incredible machines. The nearly 2-tonne vehicles propel us across the country and, sometimes, across borders. With their large size comes impressive ability as they can reach ultra-fast speeds. And, they’re only getting smarter.

However, by driving a car, you assume the responsibility to keep it running and are legally responsible for it being roadworthy. You may not be a mechanic, but there are a few things you must check before setting off.

    • Tyre wear — Without proper treads, your tyres will have less traction which can pose dangerous conditions even in clear weather. Make sure you check them about once a month. It’s as easy as using a 20p coin:

  • Headlights — Ensuring your headlights work is rather simple. Just start your vehicle and put them in the “on” position. Exit the vehicle and check. Next, turn on your high beams and check the same.
  • Brake lights — Checking your brake lights is a little trickier. The easiest way is to enlist a friend to stand behind your vehicle while you press the brake pedal. If you’re on your own, you can back your vehicle close to a bare wall or window. Then, press and release the brake pedal. Use your rearview mirror to see if they are functioning.
  • Oil — A vehicle can run without oil for at least a little while, but then it will begin to destroy the engine. Luckily, it’s easy to check and top up if you’re low:

  • Warning lights — It can be daunting to see lights appear on your dashboard. The first thing you should do is consult your vehicle’s manual. If you can, fix the issue before setting off. In some circumstances, you may need to consult a mechanic.
  • Windscreen wipers — Having a dirty windscreen without wipers can lead to catastrophic consequences and even a collision. Test each of the speed settings as well as your windscreen washing fluid.