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How to carry out basic car maintenance

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In this video the experts at Delphi take you through five key vehicle checks to help keep your car running the whole year round, and the good news is that each check should take less than five minutes. Watch and discover:

• The five quick checks to make and how often to make them
• The rules on tyre wear and windscreens
• How to avoid being overwhelmed when checking fluid levels
• The importance of getting your car serviced
Maintenance Solutions How to DIYers Drivers Technicians 1 min read

What should I look out for on my tyres?

Two key things to pay close attention to are tread depth and tyre pressure. The legal minimum depth varies from country to country, for example in the UK the legal limit is 1.6mm but in Germany it’s 3mm. We also advise that you keep your tyre pressure at the recommended levels, and you can generally find that written on the inside of your car door or in the handbook.

How do I know if my wipers aren’t working properly?

Keeping your windscreen wipers in good order is vital for driving visibility. Look out for streaking, skipping, and squeaking when you use them, as these are all signs your blades need replacing. You can also look for splits and cracks on the actual blades. If replacing your wipers you can check the size needed by simply entering your numberplate on stockists’ websites.

Can I test car lights by myself?

Although you can go through the full light sequence yourself by simply turning on each beam, indicator, hazard, side, and fog light individually, then walking around the car to check they work, you will need someone with you to confirm your brake lights operate properly. And don’t forget to check the little light above your rear numberplate too.

Which fluids should I regularly check on my car? 

The five essentials are: engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid and windscreen washer fluid. Most car manufacturers colour their fluid caps yellow, orange, and blue – and this is based on how important those fluids are for keeping your car running properly. So, for example, coolant, brake fluid and engine oil tend to have a yellow or orange cap, whereas screen wash will be blue. 

How often should I service my car? 

Many manufacturers recommend a full service either once a year or every 12,000 miles, depending on which comes first. Having a full service will take care of a lot of the essentials of basic car maintenance.


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