Car Maintenance: Making Your Car Roadworthy

By: James Ruppert
Getting your classic or off road car ready for spring

Car maintenance can be, at times, a chore. We all know it's essential to keep your car running reliably and efficiently - saving you money. If you're a classic car owner or lucky enough to have a car sitting on the driveway for a period of time, having a handy checklist enables you to get the important stuff done quickly without missing anything vital.

 

 

Car Check 1: Tyres and Wheels

Probably the easiest and most important checks are to the tyres and wheels.

  1. If you've not moved your car at all (moving it occasionally helps avoid flat spots on the tyres) examine them for cracks, damage, any stones, screws or nails
  2. Check they are the correct tyre pressure
  3. Check the tyre tread is legal - it must be at least 1.6mm
  4. Check for rust and dents
  5. Check that the nuts are tight and none have gone missing

What do you need to know about tyres

 

Car Check 2: Under The Bonnet

The next easiest thing is to open the bonnet and start checking the car's vital signs.

  1. Check the oil level is at maximum or not far off
  2. The water level should be clearly visible at the required mark when cold
  3. If you're topping up anti freeze the colour needs to match the one you've been using
  4. Look at all hoses and belts for cracks and damage

Read our full guide to the oil in your car

 

Car Check 3: Check Your Lights

Step 3 - make sure the lights work

  1. If you've been using a trickle charger it's best to unplug this before turning on your car
  2. If you haven't, you may need jump leads handy - batteries don't last long when they aren't used 
  3. Turn all the lights on for your car and walk around making sure they all work, including fog and indicators
  4. Ask a friend to stand behind your car and check the brake lights work

Be seen with our guide to lights

 

Car Check 4: Check Your Brakes

The next step is a bit more difficult but just as important - checking the brakes

  1. Remove each wheel to check the condition of pads and discs
  2. Unsure what you're looking for? Take advantage of a MotorEasy free brake check

Stop in time - understand your brakes

 

Car Check 5: Check Your Roof And Give It A Clean

If your classic has a hood then it's best to inspect it:

  1. If it is electric make sure the battery has some charge before testing it
  2. Look for damage from water or if your car has been left for a long time, rodents having a nibble

The last thing left to do to is give your car the best TLC check and give it a proper clean starting from the top and working your way down, and don't forget your wheel arches! Follow our step-by-step car cleaning guide to leave it gleaming!

 

What Else Should You Consider?

You might want to also think about booking your car in for a service to make sure it's in full working order if you're starting to use it regularly again. Make sure the car also has a valid MOT and Tax as these make the car legal to drive (being a MotorEasy member will ensure you're reminded well in advance). 

If you think your car needs a repair, have MotorEasy book you into one of our 10,000 network garages. As well as benefitting from our discounted trade rates, qualified MotorEasy engineers monitor all work to ensure you only pay for necessary work at the correct parts costs and labour times.

 

Further Reading

Car Repairs: How To Book Your Free Health Check

MOT Testing: It's About To Get Tougher

Car Servicing - What Is It?

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