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8 simple car maintenance checks you should definitely be doing

1. Fuel

Fuel

Check you have plenty of fuel in your tank for your journey. It may sound obvious but you’d be surprised just how many people run out of fuel, particularly in harsh winter weather.

2. Oil

OilWe recommmend you check your oil level every 1500 - 2000 miles. The level shoudl be between the minimum and maximum mark on your car's dipstick. Top up with the correct oil if necessary. If you're unsure, watch our video on how to check your oil.

If you don’t know which type of oil you need to use, refer to your owner’s handbook or speak to your one of teh Team at Hilton Vehicle Leasing and we will be please to assist you. 

3. Rubber

Wipers

When it comes to rubber, check both your tyres and wiper blades on a regular basis.

Check your tyres for general wear and tear, splits or bulges, and crucially tread depth. Minimum tread level is 1.6mm, although in winter it’s advisable to have 3mm of tyre tread to help with traction and grip.

Also ensure you’ve got the correct pressure in your tyres, checking your owner’s handbook if you don’t know the correct inflation.

Examine your wiper blades as these won’t last forever and need replacing from time to time due to splits and cracks.

In winter, you can prevent your wiper blades freezing to the windscreen by covering with a blanket or using de-icer to free them up before starting your journey.

4. Coolant

Check Coolant

Check your car’s coolant level. The last thing you need is a frozen engine or for your car to overheat.

Although it’s a sealed system and shouldn’t need to be topped up, you should always double check, especially before a long journey.

Check your coolant levels when the engine is cold and look in your handbook for the correct coolant and mix to use should you need to top it up.

 

5. Electrics

Electrics

There are plenty of electrics in your car – from headlights and fog lights to your battery – and they all need to be checked regularly to keep you safe.

Walk around the car and make sure your lights are all working, even the number plate lights, as you can be fined for having a registration that can’t be seen.

You should also check your battery, making sure the terminals are clean and tight (cleaning off any corrosion with hot water and applying petroleum jelly) and that the engine starts correctly.

If your car struggles to start and the engine ‘labours’ when you turn the key, get it checked out at a garage. If your battery is over four years old it may be getting to the end of its life and could let you down.

Cold weather takes its toll on older tired batteries and the wet and ice conditions play havoc with the electrics.

Batteries have to work much harder in colder conditions and they have endure greater demand from extra electrical equipment like the lights and the heater.

 

6. Screen wash

SCREENWASH

Check your screen wash level in the tank under the bonnet, topping up if necessary with a quality screen wash additive or pre-mix, which you can pick up in most petrol stations.

Screen wash is important all year round. In winter snow and grit cause dirty windscreens, while in summer bugs and pollen can easily smear your view – so never put off checking your levels

 

7. Interiors

I Pace interior

No-one wants their car to be known as a “skip-on-wheels”, so keep things clean with a regular interior clean, clearing out your footwells, wiping down your dashboard and keeping only the essentials in your boot.

It’s not just about being a neat freak, a clean interior also keeps you safe on the roads – you don’t want any discarded bottles dangerously rolling underneath your pedals.

8. Exteriors

Exterior

Keep the outside of your car clean with a regular wash. If you’re doing it by hand, focus on the headlights, brake lights and number plates as these help you see and be seen on the roads.

Keep all windows clean and clear at all times. As well as being unsafe, an unclean windscreen that limits your view of the road could see you fined for driving a car in a “dangerous condition.”

 

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