back to schoolSummer is sadly nearly over. Time to refresh your memory on those basic car checks you can carry out yourself.  Avoid breakdowns and refresh your memory with our list of maintenance checks and get yourself in gear for the driving year ahead.

Oil checks

47% of motorists don’t check their oil regularly enough and 27% of motorist don’t check their oil at all. DON’T be one of these statistics. Follow the steps below to check your oil levels successfully:

  1.  Rest your car engine for at least half an hour on level surface (this allows the car to cool down and ensures no faulty readings)
  2. Pull out the dipstick and wipe it off on a clean paper towel or cloth (lint-free)
  3. Reinsert the dipstick back into the pipe
  4. Pull the dipstick out again, withdrawing slowly and look at the film of oil on the end of the stick, it should be between the minimum and maximum marks on the dipstick
  5. Put the dipstick back into the pipe
  6. Top up if it’s too low

And always have a spare bottle of oil in the boot for emergencies.


Check your tyre pressures every two weeks (including the spare). Look out for cuts, wear and tear and make sure your tread is within the legal limits.  Tread should be at 3mm (legal limit is 1.6mm but don’t get caught out).  And get them changed if they are worn.

Coolant levels

Six million motorists in the UK (AA stats) risk a repair bill of over £1,000 by failing to regularly to check their engine coolant is at the recommended level.

  1.  Do the check when the engine is cool
  2.  Make sure it is between the minimum and maximum marks

Screenwash levels

Did you know that driving with an empty bottle of screenwash or frozen contents is an offence?

  1.   Check regularly.
  2.   Use 50% of a good quality screen wash so there is less chance of it freezing in frosty weather


Check all lights (including headlights, indicators, fog lights, rear number plate and brake lights) regularly. Also ensure the following:

  1.  Make sure no lamp lights are cracked – replace if faulty
  2.  Carry spare bulbs with you
  3.  If you are changing bulbs, follow your handbook although your headlight bulbs may need you to visit a garage

Windscreen wipers

It’s recommended you change them once a year to avoid wear and smears on the screen.


Check for chips and if you spot any, get them fixed straight away! They can become large cracks in no time, meaning windscreen replacement!


Give your car panels the once-over for any damage, or signs of rust. Especially now Autumn is approaching and the roads will be wetter.

These basic maintenance checks are so quick and simple! But for a more in depth check, book your car in at MEB for a service!

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