Top Motoring Tips | The Ultimate Guide to Car Maintenance, Security & Driving
Whether you consider your car as the shiny box that takes you from A to B or your pride and joy that you love more than life itself, in order for it to function safely and efficiently, it is important to carry out regular maintenance, remember a few top driving safety tips and know how to best keep it safe and secure when you’re not around, so here are a few top motoring tips every kind of driver should know.
Important car maintenance
For some, spending Sunday afternoon tinkering on the car and polishing it is time well spent, for others, there’s never a good time to do anything but drive it. but regular checks of your car could help you to identify any problems, so you can prevent that dreaded breakdown and extensive damage.
- Fuel – Running out of fuel is that embarrassing thing happens to other people – if only that were true. But unfortunately, it can happen to anyone. Perhaps you’re in a new area and you’re not sure where the nearest petrol station is, or you leave the house in a rush and forget to fill up. Rather fill up when you have time than run the risk of running out in the middle of nowhere.
- Oil – It’s best to check your oil too much than too little, because running too low, or running out can cause damage to your engine. Check it regularly and always have spare oil at home to top up easily when you need to.
- Water – The last thing you want is your car to run out of water and overheat, especially as summer approaches and the weather heats up. Check your coolant regularly and while you’re at it, ensure your windscreen wash is full too.
- Lights – Make sure all your lights are working. It only takes 5 minutes, if that, and will ensure you and others stay safe on the road. The easiest way to check is to ask someone to check for you as you turn the lights on and off.
- Tyres – Damage to tyres is a big cause of breakdowns each year so make sure you stay on top of your tyre pressure and wear. Check your car’s handbook for the correct tyre pressure and be sure to adjust it depending on the load.
- Electrics – According to the AA, ‘battery problems are the number one cause of breakdowns, at any time of year’ so, if your battery is getting on a bit old be sure to replace it before it’s too late.
Staying safe on the road
- Expect the unexpected – Drive with caution and expect the unexpected when it comes to other drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and animals and always stay aware.
- Drive with an Observer – Having a Dashboard Camera can be the backup you need should anything happen whilst you’re driving, and it could even save you money on your car insurance.
- Don’t touch your phone – Phones and devices are distractions. Press play on your playlist, plan your journey and then go, rather than trying to multi-task. The road requires all your attention because you never know what distractions other drivers have or what they might do.
- Tired? Stop. – According to the RAC ‘falling asleep while driving is a significant factor at night and accounts for 20% of serious road accidents in the UK’ so don’t risk it. Stop for a rest, a coffee or for the night if you have a long journey to make.
- Drive with time on your side – Don’t start any journey in a rush; plan in time for the possibility of traffic, rest breaks, food stops and time to make phone calls if you need to, so you can enjoy a relaxed, safe drive.
Keep your car secure
Secure parking – Always try to find a secure parking. A well-lit car park with CCTV cameras and barrier access is the top choice for security.
Valuables – If in doubt, take everything with you. That means phone, wallet, bag, sat nav and anything that looks valuable. It’s not just about what could be stolen, but the damage and hassle of fixing the damage caused in the attempt. And if you must leave something in the car, at the very least put it in the boot.
Lock your car – Best practice is to lock your car whenever you leave it. Even if you’re going to grab a parking ticket, to pay for petrol or you’re jumping out quickly to drop something off, lock it, even if you can see it and always take the keys with you.