I’m the first to admit that when it comes to car maintenance, I am not the most reliable. At the beginning of this year my heating stopped working in the car. It would take an age to defrost the windscreen on a frosty morning, and Miss A and I were always trying to stay warm on our short journeys to school.
I didn’t think too much about it, but mentioned it to Hubby and we wondered if the heating had stopped working, put it on our mental list to get it looked at and of course promptly forgot about it.
At the end of January, I took my Mum to a funeral around twenty miles away. My car really is used as the run around doing the school runs and the short journeys, so I like to take it out on a longer run every now and again to keep the engine working properly.
On our way back from the funeral, Mum and I were talking and all of a sudden there was a loud beep in the car. I looked down at the dash board and a red light had appeared. The words on the screen said “engine overheating, pull over”.
It took me a second or two to register that my temperature gauge had indeed gone up to the red zone, and I was a little scared as I carried on down the road looking for a place to pull over. I spotted a pub car park and pulled in and turned the engine off. It was at this point, I realised how little I know about car maintenance.
I called Hubby at work and he didn’t answer, so I called my brother who is very mechanically minded. It helped having Mum in the car I think as he left what he was doing and came straight to us. When he arrived, he asked if my heating had been working lately. As I told him that no it hadn’t, I realised that my tank needed water. I did admit to feeling stupid, and admitted that I hadn’t checked the water levels for a little while. I usually leave that kind of thing to Hubby to check but when it’s my car and I’m the one driving it, I really should be responsible for my own safety when driving my car.
It turned out that I had a water leak, and was lucky that my engine wasn’t ruined. Thanks to my big brother, and a bit of a lecture, it’s made me realise to be more responsible when it comes to basic car maintenance.
That also spurred me onto getting my tyres checked and I knew I needed two new tyres after being told a few weeks previously as well by a family member that two were border line so I took a look at Point-S for a quote. Since this has all happened my car has been for a service and an MOT which thankfully it passed, and I have made a pact with the car to look after her a little better in future.
With some research, I know the basics to check to keep my car safe and at it’s best which are
- Know your tyre pressure and check at least once a fortnight
- Check the tyres for cuts and make sure one tyre doesn’t need more attention than the others in case it has a slow puncture.
- Check the water level (when the engine is cold)
- Make sure the screen wash is always topped up
- Check the oil dip stick at the same time as checking the tyres and water levels.
- Get small windscreen chips checked when they occur rather than waiting for them to get bigger.