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maintenance tips
  1. Learner
7th September 2021

Basic car maintenance tips every driver should know

We break down the top tips learner drivers need to know to ensure their car is safe on the road once they’ve passed their test.

Car Insurance from just £125 per year

As a driver there can be a lot to remember, from your theory knowledge to your driving skills. However, there are a few maintenance procedures that every driver should know before they get behind the wheel.

Can you service your own car?

Unfortunately you are not allowed by law to service your own vehicle, unless you own a registered MoT test station by following the Government guidelines. However before you take your car for an MoT, or even if you’re looking to do basic car maintenance checks throughout year, the team at Sterling Insurance have provided the most common maintenance tips that every driver should know how to perform on their vehicle.

Ensure your tyres are fully pumped up

Ensuring your tyres are fully pumped up is a simple yet effective way of maintaining your car’s safety. Having your tyres overinflated or under-inflated can be dangerous and will affect how your car handles. Having the pressure too high or too low can also affect their lifespan and damage the tread. Websites like www.tyre-pressure.com let you know what your front and rear tyre pressures should be as they will be different.

Checking your battery health

Newer cars should have a built-in battery monitor to inform the driver of when their battery is low, but if your vehicle doesn’t, you can always buy a manual monitor to ensure you’re aware of your battery’s health. You can also keep your battery topped up with a battery maintainer, which is also known as a trickle charger.

Take a look at our blog on everything you need to know about car battery maintenance to learn more battery maintenance tips.

How often do you need to change your car battery?

If you’ve had your battery for five years you have done well, but now is probably a good time to replace it with a new one, rather than risk it letting you down when you least expect it. 

Check your windscreen wash

Ever needed to wash off excess dirt or bird poo from your windscreen only to find out you have no windscreen wash left? While that is most definitely a pain, you may not realise it’s against the law to drive without having the bottle filled up. 

Check those wipers

While we’re on the topic of windscreens, it’s always best to check the health of your windscreen wipers. Once again it is against the law to drive with faulty wiper blades and indeed no wipers at all. Not only is it against the law, but it is also extremely dangerous if it suddenly starts pouring down with rain and you’re left with no visibility. 

Check your oil levels

Another easy maintenance tip is to ensure your oil levels are at least up to the mark on your car’s dipstick. Being low on oil increases your chances of breaking down, which can cause further damage to your engine and of course to your wallet. Be sure not to put too much oil in as this can also cause damage.

Exhaust damage

While it’s not recommended to ‘rev’ your engine, sometimes it’s best practice to. This can help you check if your exhaust has any leaks or any unusual noises or smoke emitting.

Check your lights

It’s always a good idea to have someone stand outside the car while you test your lights and indicators and confirm that they all work properly, including your fog lights. It can be very easy to drive with only one brake light working, especially if no other driver informs you. Checking your lights regularly is a simple yet effective way of ensuring you don’t get stopped by police. 

Is your car due an MoT?

While you can do the above maintenance checks to make sure your car is in good working order, you should always know when your car is due its next MoT. An MoT should be done at least every 12 months, or for those who do a lot of mileage in a year, roughly every 12,000 miles.  

Where can I get breakdown insurance? 

So much can go wrong to prevent your car from starting that it’s probably a good idea to consider breakdown insurance with a homestart option, and that’s exactly what Sterling insurance provides for as little as £25.42 a year. 

Sterling can arrange roadside recovery or a reliable home repair service, whether your car or van breaks down in the UK, Europe or further afield. For motorists who need a breakdown service in an emergency, our instant cover provides immediate help.

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