How To Do A General Check On Your Car

3 min read
How To Do A General Check On Your Car

Sometimes there just isn’t time, or money, to get your car to a mechanic. Here are some basic tips on how to do a general check on your car and save you time and money on maintenance and running costs.


Ensure your vehicle is parked on flat ground. Locate the dipstick (it has a loop in the top of stick) in the engine. Pull out and wipe off oil with a rag. Replace the dipstick for a few seconds, and then remove. If the oil on the stick doesn’t reach the ‘full’ level, add engine oil by unscrewing the oil-filter cap (usually marked with the words ‘engine oil’). You may want to use a funnel. Replace the cap and re-check the dipstick level. Never go more than 3 months without checking your oil!

How to ADD ‘WATER’

When driving, if the car’s temperature gauge is leaning towards hot (H) it’s likely that the coolant needs topping up. Coolant is a mixture of water and anti-freeze which stabilises the temperature of your vehicle. First check under the car’s hood when the engine has cooled down for at least 30 minutes after driving. Locate the plastic reservoir tub: if the liquid doesn’t reach the ‘full’ level, top it up with coolant.

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On the opposite side of the car, put a chock behind a wheel. Check your manual for jacking location closest to deflated tyre and place jack accordingly. Never go under the car. Loosen nuts on wheel with a socket wrench. Jack car up until wheel is off the ground, the tyre only needs to be at a height where it can be removed. Remove nuts, slide wheel towards you and set aside. Put spare tyre in place and firmly screw nuts on. Lower jack, so the tyre is on the ground, then tighten the nuts.


Car paintwork is set in layers: steel, primer, colour and clear coat. Depending how deep the scratch goes, it may be a job for a professional. If you are just dealing with a minor scratch in the clear coat, you can fix it yourself! Firstly, clean the area with soapy water and dry, apply a small amount of gritty wax (available at auto stores) onto a foam buffer and buff in a circular motion until the surface evens out and there you have it – no more scratch!


Air pressure affects tyre wear and tear and fuel consumption. If the tyres are flatter than they should be, it results in extra surface area and drag on the vehicle and it will consume more fuel. To find your car’s optimum tyre pressure, check the manual or the stamp card in the door jam or glove box. Use the electronic air pump at your local service station and set the required tyre pressure on the pump.

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