I still remember the feeling of getting my first car, a little old Ford KA, I sat in it playing CD’s, pretending to be cruising down our winding country lanes with my window down and hair blowing in the wind. A fair few years have passed since then and I’ve learnt a lot of lessons along the way, one of the most important ones was taught to me by my dad, the day I passed my test. Before he’d let me leave the drive he took me outside to teach me the crucial maintenance routines of my car, the things that would keep me safe.
Firstly, we opened the bonnet together, a bundle of tubes, grease covered containers and lids. Despite going through the basics of what went on under the bonnet with my driving instructor this was a whole new car and so things were laid out a little differently. We filled up the windscreen washer fluid, checked the oil and coolant levels as well as having a look at the main parts of the engine. Next, we had a quick flick through the handbook to help me get familiar with the various warning lights and symbols that would appear to tell me something was wrong.Finally, we looked at the wheels. My dad taught me how to jack the car up, remove the wheel and change it for the spare tyre that lay hidden in the boot. We went through the whole process together, from beginning to end, before changing the spare back to the original. We then checked the tyre pressures using a nifty little gadget and compared them to the recommended ones on my petrol cap. So far so good. Lastly, we talked tread, and when you should change a tyre. Your tyres are designed to save you from slippery situations as well as helping you with steering and control, therefore it is absolutely vital that they’re in good nick otherwise all the work that you put in under the bonnet may as well be null and void. We checked tread depth, looked for bald patches and any abnormal wear and tear. A helpful hint here is to make sure to check the entire tyre, which often means rolling the car foreword slightly at intervals in order to get a good view of the wheel in its entirety. Writing this post today I checked the tyres on my car and found one to be getting seriously low, if you want to reserve car tyres easily then go to Point S*, type in your car registration, select the tyres you want, enter your postcode to find your nearest fitter and choose your preferred time and date, and you’re back on the road.At the time these lessons with my dad seemed like an overly laborious process, but during the past five years as a driver, they served me tenfold. I’ve changed my own tyre in the Heathrow multi-storey carpark having come back from a holiday and found it flat. I’ve been able to maintain my engine, keep my car in a safe condition and smash the stereotype that women don’t know a thing about their vehicles. Although it’s important to be able to deal with a car crisis situation, it’s best to take preventative measures to stop them from happening. Stay safe on the roads and care for your car. Time for me to take these two for a walk in the sunshine.
Do you have any car care routines that you follow? Let me know in the comments!
*This post was kindly sponsored by Point S but all memories and opinions are my own.