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OODLE Journal
Get under the bonnet of the Oodle Journal; read about the dream journeys we’ve made possible and the technologies shaping our industry.
How to keep your car in tip top condition

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Your car is pretty good at telling you what it needs when it’s desperate – running out of petrol say or needing an oil change.

But there’s so much more you can be doing for your motor. It’s like offering a cup of tea to a friend before they ask. It’s little moments like that which show you care.

And, as an added bonus, all of this extra care should increase your car’s value and prolong its quality. A happy car is a healthy car.

Windows

Illustration of a cracked window

You should check your windows and mirrors every day. If you notice a crack in your windscreen, have it assessed immediately as it may need replacing if left untreated.

Any broken lights or mirrors should be replaced as soon as possible too.

While you’re there, check the windscreen wipers. If the blades are worn you should replace them: especially if winter is coming (and especially in Britain, where rain is always around the corner).

Did You Know: windscreen wipers were invented by a woman? Mary Anderson invented them in 1903, but commercial car companies turned her away – saying they would never be widely adopted. A woman’s intuition…

Oil

Illustration of filling up car antifreeze fluid

Oil is what keeps your car running smoothly, absorbing the heat generated by the engine and preventing wear and tear between the moving parts.

If you have never checked oil before, ask your mechanic to demonstrate how to do it properly. You simply have to pull out the dipstick, clean it off, put it back in the oil tank and pull it out to see how much oil now covers the stick.

You need to replace your oil roughly every 3,500 miles, but you should check it regularly: if your car is guzzling too much then there could be something going on with the engine, and you’ll need to take it into the garage to be checked.

Fluids

After you’ve checked the oil, you should take a look at all the other fluids that are often forgotten about!

These are coolant, power steering fluid, window washer and brake fluid.

If you feel that you’re always having to top up your fluids, you should take your car in for a check-up – there could be a leak somewhere causing levels to drop. No one likes being left thirsty!

Brakes

Illustration of foot on car brake pedal

It’s crucially important to keep your brakes well-maintained. If you notice anything strange with your braking system – however small – have them checked out by a mechanic immediately.

As a general rule brake pads should be replaced every 2 years to prevent them from wearing out.

Interiors

Did You Know : 90% of car drivers sing along behind the wheel? If you’re one of them (and come on… we think the last 10% are lying) then you’ll certainly want your radio in good working order.

Check the radio and any other gadgets on the dashboard regularly. Often if they stop working, it will be nothing more serious than a blown fuse.

Tyres

Sometimes your car will tell you if the tyres need changing – your car might not handle driving in wet conditions so well, or you find the stopping distance increases. But sometimes drivers don’t notice – and suffer a sudden blowout which can be a) dangerous and b) expensive.

You should aim to check your tyre pressure weekly. Make sure that they are properly inflated using a tyre gauge. If your tyres are constantly losing pressure it’s worth getting them checked out, as you may need them replaced.

You also need to check your tyre tread. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm and failure to comply risks a hefty fee of £2,500 and 3 penalty points for each tyre.

Did You Know: You can test the tyre tread by inserting a 20p coin into one of the tyre’s grooves. If the bottom of the coin nests comfortably in the groove, then your tyres should be fine. If you can still see the outer rim of the 20p piece, then the tread depth might be below the legal limit.


*The information contained above is for general information purposes only and you should have your car checked by a mechanic.