How To Make Sure Your Car Is Right For You and Safe For Driving

Modern cars are very high functioning- but as anything that is made of hundred and hundreds of individual working components – things will go wrong.

When it comes to cars, I always find it interesting what shape, brand and colour people choose. I always had a Fiat500 for years, as I was afraid to drive a bigger car. I liked it’s cute, bubble shaped concept, and felt pretty safe in it’s small compact space. Saying that, Fiat500’s have impressive interiors and look super smart, therefore I never felt like I compromised on style.

Moving on to the last two years, I’ve owned an Audi A1. Which interestingly, I found out that a survey which looked into the cars that ‘bad drivers’ own, Audi ranked fairly high. The results said that 50% of people surveyed who were bad drivers owned an Audi. Eeeek!

This does make me giggle, because I will hand on heart announce that I’m a poor driver. I’m not too bad when I’m on my own, but when others are in the car, I’m the first to loose concentration. That aside, I can also be over hesitant.

The survey in question is the ‘What does your car say about your driving?’ findings from Lease Car, and it’s actually rather interesting. It explores the car colours that ‘bad drivers’ tend to drive (black came out on top, which come to think of it, my second Fiat500 was black…), which cars do angry drivers tend to own (BMW topped this, which is my partners!) etc etc…

Choosing a car that is right for you is always a hard process, and it’s knda important to ask yourself the important question of whethere you think you are a good or bad driver yourself.

If you’re a poor driver – like I admit I can be – It’s easy to be blasé about car maintenance and everything telse that comes with being a car ownder.  Of course, people like me tend to just think that when issue arise with the functioning of cars, you can just pop into the nearest garage. But some DIY maintenance not only saves you money and prolongs the life of your car, but also ensures you are driving safely every day.

So while you’re toying with what car you want, here’s some important things you need to ask:

Are Your Tyres Legal?

Tyres in the UK need to be within certain conditions to be legal and also to ensure a safe ride. Periodically, you should check your tyre tread is within the legal limit which is a minimum of 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre. You should also regularly look for damage and also check your tyre pressure. The recommended pressure for your particular model of car is detailed in your user manual or online.

Be Aware Of The Weather

Do you ever stop to think how the weather can affect your car? This recent UK summer heatwave can play more havoc with your car than you think. For example, when it’s warm, the air pressure in your tyres is higher, and when it’s cooler the pressure is lower. The tyres aren’t what supports the weight of your car, it’s the air in the tyres, and it’s usually kept at a temperature of around 32 PSI, or pounds per square inch.

They say that the sun’s influence on tyre pressure can make up to 15% difference. Those black tyres in the hot sun can really absorb the heat, passing it on to the air inside. Make sure you look after your tyres in the hot weather, and if you need to replace them, you can purchase your car tyres from many reputable tyre service garages.

Are Your Brakes in Good Working Order?

A car’s brakes are one of its most essential safety measures and the potential consequences of brake failure is not something anyone wants to contemplate. You might have an anti-lock warning light, but this doesn’t preclude a regular check that your brakes functioning correctly and do not require placing. Brakes shouldn’t feel spongy, slippy, or slack.

There shouldn’t be any grating noises when you press on the pedal, and your car shouldn’t pull to one side when braking (an indication one brake pad is worn). Ideally you should perform the basic “press” test before setting off on any journey. Don’t neglect your handbrake in reviewing your brakes. It should fully engage, and the car should always be stable when stationary.

Checked Your Fluid Levels?

There are five fluids essential to a smooth and safe ride in your car. These are engine oil, brake fluid, coolant (radiator), windshield washer fluid, and if your car has it, power steering fluid. To carry out fluid checks, your car should be stationary with the handbrake engaged on level ground and with a cold engine. Your user manual will indicate where to find each fluid’s container and how much it should contain.

Is Your Air Conditioning Functioning Correctly?

If you’re heading on a road trip in summer, you’ll need to ensure your air conditioning is working. We complain about the weather in Britain but on the days the temperature soars, the cold air from the aircon unit is beneficial for both the driver and any passengers. Book an air conditioning service if you can…

Is Your MOT Certificate in Date?

MOT certificates are a legal requirement in the UK. The test certifies your car is roadworthy and safe. It will identify existing problems that need to be fixed for your car to pass the test and will also advice of any potential future problems that don’t impact the test result on the day but may for the next test.

You can book your car into your local autocentre for a regular service to check all the items mentioned above but most of these can be done by yourself. Keep your car well maintained saves time and money and is safer for you, your passengers, and other road users.

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