|Monday, December 10, 2018
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Routine checks on a car 

We all know that we should carry out routine checks and services on our car but in reality, who does? Well the reality is sadly too few people make even the most minor checks to their car and then are often faced with substantial bills to put things right when we as owners have failed to look after their trusted vehicle. To look at it another way if you have a dog or a cat, you have to feed it( fuel for a car), walk it (drive it with care) , provide drinks (check water levels), shelter (park it safely in a garage or shady area where possible), have routine vaccinations (regular servicing) and make sure its microchipped (ensure the vehicle is in your name and that your address is up to date at DGT) .

Well for a car, what do you do……. put petrol or diesel in, occasionally wash it, usually after a calima when you cannot see out of the windscreen! More often than not for most people not a lot else.

To ensure that you get the best out of your car you need to “nurture” it. So let’s look at what you should do.

Check Oil and Water.

I am sure that almost everyone reading this will be aware that they SHOULD check the levels of the oil and water in their car but don’t. Why should you do this? Well if a car is driven without water, especially in extreme heat that we often experience here in Tenerife, the engine is likely to seize and stop, thus causing untold damage often with the vehicle requiring potentially a new or refurbished engine, which sadly is not cheap, pistons, water pump, gaskets, head gasket to name but a few items that people may recognize.

Therefore, it is vitally important that you check the cars oil and water level on a regular basis and if you notice any substantial drop in levels then go to your garage or mechanic for them to assess and check. A simple thing like filling up the water or oil and leaving the cap off or very loose can have catastrophic consequences. Be safe not sorry.

Tyres

The tyres of your car are very important as they along with the brakes are what will stop your car quickly in the event of an incident or accident. If you have tires that are not correctly fitted or are worn, when you need them most to stop your vehicle they are likely to give up as there will be little or no rubber tread left to grip the road surface. We see many cars with metal showing where the tyres have been used for far too long or were of a very poor quality in the first place when fitted. You may notice a rumbling noise when driving or a vibration through the steering wheel which can be an indication of tyre wear and should be checked. The police if they see a car parked with metal showing through they have been known to issue a fine, so beware.

Regular Servicing

This is something that most people tend to avoid unless they have a brand-new car and its subject to a manufacturer’s warranty where the servicing is integral to the warranty. However, during a routine service, where the oil and filters are normally changed, brakes and tyres are checked, and changed where necessary or an advisory note given on your invoice or verbally (often both). Some of the dangers that occur can be avoided by having this done to your car and the costs are not expensive although services offered differ substantially as the quality of the oil, filters, brake pads and tyres used affects the price paid. Using cheap oil is not recommended as it is too thin to in general doesn’t provide the care and adequate lubrication required of the engine. The handbook for the car will tell you the type and specification of the oil that the engine requires to run efficiently. Not all oils of the same type meet the same specifications.