Car daily checks help you stay safe and help prevent your car from breaking down at the side of the road. This can sometimes be very dangerous. Remembering to carryout a check of your vehicle could help keep you safe and help you to get to your location without breaking down.
If you can remember the word POWER it will help you to check areas of your vehicle that you might forget.
P stands for Petrol / diesel, check your fuel level before going of on your journey and if you do not have enough petrol / diesel to complete your journey then plan to refuel at locations along your route. Depending on what time of the day you are travelling it may be important to consider the opening times of your fuel stops.
O Oil this is not just the engine oil but all oils in the vehicles engine compartment. This may include engine oil level, brake and clutch fluid, power steering fluid and if you are driving an automatic car transmission fluid. In the manufacturers hand book you will find help in where to locate these areas and ensure you follow the safety advice within the handbook when checking items in the engine compartment.
W Water, this includes the engine coolant level and windscreen washer bottle. Now you can get screen wash for the washer bottle that will also stay a liquid when temperatures drop below freezing. Engine coolant will be found in what is called an expansion chamber allowing the pressurised liquid to safely depressurise within the chamber. Make sure before checking the engine compartment that the ignition is turned off and the engine is not running.
E Electrics, vehicles today have lots of electronics and sensors which are best left to the professionals. The electric components we are referring to are all the light bulbs on the car, horn, windscreen wipers, demisters / heater, Key fob battery, radio, seat belt warning system / windows and child locks. If you have an automated filler cap release make sure you can open the filler cap. When you turn the ignition do the warning lights come and then go off. While in the engine compartment check the battery is secured and the terminals are clean. Around the engine there are little electrical connectors that click into each other just visually check these connectors are correctly in place.
R Rubber, Check the general condition of all tyres including the spare tyre or break down kit. The tyres should have at least 1.6 mm of tread around the whole of the tyre and look out for cuts or bulges on the walls of the tyre. A valve cap should be fitted to prevent dirt from entering the valve. Windscreen wiper blades are working and in good condition.
Engine compartment check hoses and look for leaks either water or oil.Visually check connectors are secure and the battery is secure and earthed to the vehicle.
Warning: when checking the engine compartment the ignition should be off and the engine not running
It has taken me longer to write this than it takes to carryout these checks, mostly it is simply observing around your car and engine compartment for something that doesn’t look right and rather drive away, get it checked before you start your journey.