Car and Tyre Maintenence Lessons Learned

Monday, 8 May 2017


Having recently moved back to Somerset from London, getting myself a car was top of my to do list! There's no tube round here and the buses are fine but don't give you all that much freedom. I wanted to be able to get up and go wherever and whenever. So I bought myself a little second hand car.

When Ossett Tyre House got in touch about a collaboration on car care, it couldn't have been better timing. I'm very conscious of looking after my 'new' car and making sure it's in tip top condition for long journey's as much as it is for just popping to the shop to prevent breakdowns and costly repairs down the road - if you'll pardon the pun.

Lesson's learned! 

I have been driving nearly 6 years now, I've definitely taught myself a few lessons in that time. I wanted to share a couple with you that are perfect examples of how lazy car care can result in sticky situations. 

LOOK AFTER THOSE TYRES

I cannot stress the importance of checking your tyres enough. One time, it must be about 4 or 5 years ago now, I'd hit my tyre on one of those metal bollard/lane separators. After hitting it my tyre had made a bit of a hissing noise and I pulled over thinking 'oh no... I'm going to have a slashed tyre' I'd dented the alloy a little but otherwise it looked fine to me and it certainly didn't look flat so I figured the noise was just the shock and it would be ok, and I drove home as normal. A week or so of driving on it later, seeming fine to me, I embarked on a journey from Bristol to Reading with a friend. About 15-20 minutes into the motorway something just didn't feel right to me, as if one side of the car wasn't as smooth to drive. I came off at the next set of services and checked my tyre pressure. Yeah so you know that wheel I'd hit? IT HAD A PSI OF 11! It should have been around 28. I knew I'd have to change my tyre but I had no idea, my friend had no idea, and it was dark might I add... so I went into the petrol station kiosk to ask if one of the cashiers might be able to help, they couldn't but kindly asked a couple of lorry drivers if they'd assist. They did, they came to my rescue and changed my tyre for me so we could carry on our merry way. Never ever again will I do that, never again will I 1. not check my tyre THOROUGHLY after potentially damaging it and 2. not check the tyre pressures regularly and before a long journey. 

DON'T IGNORE SOUNDS

Another lesson learned, much more recently my car was gradually getting louder to drive, the sound itself didn't sound out of the ordinary to me, it wasn't rattley or grinding or anything that worried me, it sounded like a car... just loud. WRONG. Now, I did think to myself 'ahhh it is quite loud, at some point I'll get it checked but it doesn't sound an urgent issue'. WRONG. A couple of people who had got in my car with me had also mentioned 'maybe you should get it looked at' so I did, I took it to my local garage and told them it was 'loud' (lol - technical..) so they took it for a little drive and quickly identified that it might be my wheel bearing. After putting it up in the air in those.. car lifts? hoists? you know what I mean.. They confirmed I needed a new wheel bearing and were glad I'd come in because 'it was pretty bad' and 'dangerous to drive' ...oh. Well anyway, they fixed it that very same day and I was only without it a few hours. So absolutely any, rattling, drumming, clunking, grinding or just generally louder noises, don't ignore it and don't assume it isn't urgent. It could be a really simple fix that might otherwise turn into a very costly accident. 



Car Care Checks


TYRES

Ossett Tyre House and I encourage you NOT to procrastinate on your car care! Cars have transformed our lives and the way we travel but can be very dangerous if not looked after. So before you next get into your car, give it a once over and be sure to do so regularly but particularly before long journeys. You must also be sure to keep up with your cars regular servicing. You can easily extend the life of your car and tyres with just a few simple checks. 


Pressure

Check your tyre pressures! It is so so so easy to do, when you're topping up on petrol spend a minute or two checking your tyres too. Many air pumps are free to use at petrol stations, if not it's only about 20p to use. 
The correct tyre pressure of your cars tyres should be in your cars handbook, if you don't have one your car should also have a sticker on the inside edge of the driver side door when open that will tell you the correct PSI. Failing that, google the make and model of your car and you should be able to find it. 

Tread

Look out for general wear and tear, anything wedged in your tyre, any cuts etc. You should also check the tread of your tyre in 3 different places around the tyre. The legal minimum is 1.6 mm. If you have a tyre tread gauge that's fab but if not just use a 20p, if you can see the inner rim of the 20p you should maybe look at getting it changed. 

Check the condition of ALL your tyres, even the spare in the boot, just in case! Not only will you extend their life but you'll improve your petrol consumption and drive more smoothly. If you are looking to buy new tyres in Wakefield, visit Ossett Tyre House online.




ENGINE 

Oil

Make sure you check your cars oil level regularly and before long journeys using the dipstick. Warm your car up then switch of the engine and leave for about 10 minutes for the oil to drain back. The oil should be close to the full mark on the dipstick. Top it up if it is low and if it's black, change it. 
Check when the car is level, if where you park or your driveway is on a slope you may need to move it. If it's running down faster than normal take it to your local garage, like Ossett Tyre House, and they'll happily take a look for you.

Water

When your engine is cold check that the engine coolant is between the minimum and maximum marks. Never ever check it while the engine is hot or running! Top up with a 50/50 mix of distilled water and antifreeze. 

Screenwash

Seems a silly one to get overly concerned about but it's important to keep it topped up, it's actually law and you find yourself with a fine otherwise. Plus you never know quite what will land on your windscreen.. 

LIGHTS

Make sure ALL of your lights are working, including reversing lights, brake lights and fog lights. You must be visible to other cars or you could easily cause an accident. 
Get a friend or family member to check while you test each one individually or park by a white wall or shop window at night to see for yourself. 


Have you learned any lessons through your own mistakes? Or have any tips for maintaining your car? Leave them in the comments below!


*This post was sponsored by Ossett Tyre House but all experiences are very much my own* 

Post a Comment

© It's Sarah Ann. Design by Fearne.