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Maintaining your Vehicle

Drivers who maintain their vehicles help to ensure their own and others safety on the road. A well maintained vehicle uses less fuel and is kinder to the environment.

Keep your vehicle in its best possible condition through regular maintenance.

Driving and Riding Tests

New driver and rider tests include basic vehicle maintenance as part of the test. This helps those new to the road to learn about regular vehicle maintenance and helps them to learn to assess whether or not a vehicle is safe to use.

Vehicle Maintenance - Weekly Checks

  • Clean the vehicle - especially the windows, lights and mirrors
  • Give the number plate a wipe as it's important that your vehicle's registration number is visible
  • Check all fluid levels and top up if necessary - oil, coolant, brake fluid, and power steering fluid if needed
  • Check the condition of tyres and ensure they are inflated to the correct air pressure - the legal minimum depth for tyre treads is 1.6mm and ideally more than 2mm
  • Check all lights and indicators work as expected
  • Check the wiper blades are effective and there is washing solution in the fluid bottle
  • Ensure the exhaust system is free from excessive corrosion and noise

Motorcycle Maintenance - Weekly Checks

As well as the vehicle checks above, motorcyclists should:

  • Ensure there is no excessive chain wear, and check for chain for the correct tension and rear wheel alignment
  • Lubricate the chain as necessary to ensure it does not wear excessively
  • Handle bars should move freely and smoothly from left or right with no cables being caught or stretched

In all cases, read your vehicle's handbook as this contains maintenance tasks specific to your vehicle.

Vehicle Servicing

Use the handbook that came with your vehicle to find out the servicing routine for the vehicle. These are usually set at pre-defined intervals such as 6,000, 12,000 miles; or four years, five years, etc.

MOT Test

The MOT test checks your vehicle for safety and roadworthiness - although it does not guarantee it. MOT tests typically happen every year once a vehicle is three years old.

Last updated: Friday 22nd July 2011 at 1:34pm

By Eric Craggs - Google+