Vehicle technology continues to improve all the time, and car engines of today are much more advanced than what your parents grew up with. With modern, computer-controlled engine management systems, the old days of popping the bonnet, grabbing a wrench and having a ‘she’ll be right’ moment are long gone.

Even though modern car engines are a bit more complex now, the list of simple things you can do to keep your car running right are largely the same as they were half a century ago.

But even though modern car engines are a bit more complex now, the list of simple things you can do to keep your car running right are largely the same as they were half a century ago.

 

Basic car safety checklist

Seatbelts — check tension and belt buckle operation

External Lights — replace bulbs if necessary

Handbrake — ensure that it can hold the vehicle on a slope

Windscreens & mirrors — check windscreens and mirrors for cracks

Windscreen wipers — check wear on wiper blades, replace if necessary

Horn — ensure this works

Fluids — check engine oil and engine coolant levels

Tyres — ensure tyres are at the correct pressures, check treadwear

Spare tyre & jack — ensure they are operational, check toolkit

 

Fluids checklist

Engine oil

Radiator coolant

Brake fluid

Power steering fluid

Windscreen washer fluid

Clutch fluid (manual cars)

Gearbox oil

Differential fluid

 

 

Tyres checklist

Tyre pressures

Treadwear and tread depth

Spare tyre

Car jack and tools

 

Lights checklist

Headlights

Indicators/hazard lights

Brake lights

Reverse lights

Park & Fog lights

 

Other general things to check

Radiator hoses — check for leaks and cracking

Engine air filter — check that it is clean

Battery — look for corrosion around terminals

Fan belts — ensure none are loose or squeaking on start-up

Unusual engine noises — hard to start, ticking, hissing or clunking

Ensure that child seats are fitted correctly — Does your car have ISOFIX child seat anchors?