Basic maintenance tips for your car

As an instructor, your car is your office, it is the place that you earn your living. If you neglect very basic duties it can lead to time spent off the road, which in turn, costs money. Let me walk you through some basics that could save you from the embarrassment of been turned away from a test by the examiner.

Some of this may seem basic, but will only appear if it is a real situation faced over the last year of me working for Surepass.



By law you need to have tread of at least 1.6mm. The easiest check for this is to feel if the tread hump is level with the rest of the tyre. If it is, you are running illegal tyres. Good practice is to phone your local Kwikfit, Halfords or ATS when your tyres are on about 2.5mm of tread and book to have the tyre replaced at your convenience. Don’t forget to check for bulges too!


You must also ensure that your tyres are running with the correct pressure. The information for tyre pressure on your vehicle is either inside the fuel panel or on the inside of the front doors. Correct tyre pressure will ensure you not only get better mileage, but also have evenly worn tyres, giving you more time on the road.
Here is a handy, inexpensive tool I use to check my tyres’ tread and pressure, it even fits on your key ring!






tyres 2

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Source: Tyre finders and Dartford Tyres and accessories




Here at Surepass we have service intervals of 20k miles, this maintains the manufacturer’s warranty. Each service your oil and filter will be changed. It is imperative you don’t miss a service as this can lead to various engine problems that equate to more time, for you, spent off the road.

Your oil should also be checked once a week, by you. This should be done on a level surface, whilst the engine is cold, try first thing in the morning before you head out. Cars can develop leaks at any time. Leaks are relatively inexpensive to fix, but a turbo and a timing chain running on no oil is certainly no cheap fix, and are quite time consuming repairs.

Whilst checking your oil, if you notice it to be any colour other than honey brown or black then head to your closest Halfords and get it checked out. It could be nothing, but it could also be a sign of a bigger problem. If you find yourself having to top up frequently it is also advisable to get it checked out. Some oil does burn away but seals can also break, and although your driveway doesn’t have oil on it, there could still be a leak.

Here’s a guide to checking your oil: Here



If you don’t have wipers that create a clear view you could be putting your pupil and yourself in danger, you could also risk been turned away from a test. Check out the below image to give you an indicator as to when wipers should be replaced.












Top tips for getting the most out of your blades:

  • Don’t go too long without using them – especially in dry weather they can crack.
  • When cleaning your vehicle also clean the rubber bits on the blades, removing any trapped dirt or sap from trees.


A Brief Summary

Simple, right? How about creating a weekly checklist? Done at your convenience. Tyres, wipers and oil. Each can save you time compared to ignoring a small sign and letting it develop into, in some cases, a severe problem. We are all busy and time can seem sacred and hard to come by, but every one of these things can be checked in just a few minutes. Let’s be proactive and not reactive!




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