Car sympathy is very important. Cars are very expensive to run and maintain and it is the law that you keep your vehicle in a road worthy condition.  You must have a valid MOT from when the vehicle is 3 years old.  The MOT tests the safety of the vehicle and the amount of emissions it emits from it’s exhaust.

This is why it is important to look after your car/vehicle, keeping it serviced as regularly as possible.  Changing the oil and filters regularly will keep the emissions to a minimum and the car will be more reliable. Not looking after the vehicle will cost you more in repairs and time it spends off the road. Things you can check yourself are.

1:  tyres ….. the legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm.  You can check this by looking for the wear bars in the tread of the tyre. These are bars of rubber sitting in between the tread pattern and are 1.6mm high. When the tread is down to this level, you need to change the tyre. Also check your tyres for cuts, bulges and abrasions. Tyre pressure is important to both safety and tyre wear. If the vehicle is laden then you need to pump up the pressure a little to compensate.  If you have a puncture and it is in the sidewall of the tyre, it will have to be replaced rather than have an inner tube placed in the tyre carcase. The tyre pressures that need to be maintained are in the vehicles handbook.  Some newer cars have a warning light and alarm for when any of the tyres have lost any pressure. Always check tyre pressure when the tyres are cold. When you have driven for even a few mins the air in the tyre heats up and expands.

2:  check the levels under the bonnet once a week…. Check the oil, coolant, screenwash  and brake fluid levels. To check the oil then again make sure the engine is cold in order to get an accurate reading. Use the dip stick which is located in front of the engine on most cars. Take out the dipstick and wipe it, then put it back into the hole and pull out again, the oil level should be between the minimum and maximum levels on the dipstick.  The coolant, screenwash and brake fluid reservoirs all have max and mini markers on them. Sometimes it can be difficult to read and so put your hands either side of the engine and rock the car so you can see any fluid moving.  Never take the top off of the brake fluid reservoir as the fluid is highly corrosive and irritant. Take the car to a garage if it needs topping up.  If the engine is hot do not take the lid off the coolant reservoir either. Unscrew it very slowly and gradually. You will hear a hissing noise as you turn the cap. Wait for that to stop before taking it off.

Just look after your car and it will look after you. Don’t yank the handbrake on without pushing the button in first. If you do that it will wear the ratchet that locks it in place. Anything to do with cars is expensive. Don’t slam doors as it sends a vibration through the chassis and lossens joints and bolts etc. 

If you mistreat it not only will the car be unreliable but you will lose second hand value on it when you sell it. if it’s in good condition it will be worth more.

Keep the paintwork clean and polished as much as possible and reasonable. A build up of wax protects the paint against bird lime, weather and tar that flicks up off the road surface.