LOOKING after the family car often falls to one adult in the household. Learning the basics will mean you’re prepared to deal with any minor issues if you’re in charge.

Check out these tips, courtesy of Major Jason Griffiths, who recently retired after 27 years as a REME vehicle mechanic and engineering officer. Jason now works for family-run MGS Garage in Chippenham, which supports the local military community and prides itself on the bespoke support and service it offers to soldiers and their families.

Make a note of:

  • Date of next MOT
  • Date of next service

Carry out the following checks periodically or prior to a long journey

  • Inside the car – is it all working?
  • Horn
  • Wipers
  • Washers
  • Instruments
  • Brake lights
  • Indicators
  • Reverse light
  • Fog lights
  • Headlights

Why not get the kids involved when you’re cleaning the car out and teach them a few things too?

Standard checks

  • Brake fluid level
  • Battery fittings
  • Coolant level
  • Engine oil level
  • Fan belt tension
  • Cambelt
  • Air conditioning serviceability

These will usually activate a warning light on the dash if there is an issue. Information can be found in your ownerís handbook or online.

General Condition

  • Security of vehicle exterior – mirrors, bumpers, wheel hubs etc
  • Tyres condition and pressure

If in doubt, seek professional advice.

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