I don’t need to tell you that we live in a disposable world, when things wear out or break down we just go out and buy a new one. Just think when did you last consider having a TV repaired?
With such appliances the cost of repair can be uneconomic and sometimes just the hassle of finding a repairman can cause us to ditch the thing and buy another! It’s just less stressful!

Maybe, like me in frustration, when something packs up you feel like getting the bat out!

Now most of your cars won’t fall into the ‘better to ditch it now’ category, (however, I’m sure a few reading this will have a story to tell of an old jalopy that they wish they had!)

What the modern world has created for us, it seems is a false sense that everything
should be ‘maintenance free’. This is because nowadays we do so little in the way of maintenance ourselves with cars, I find people just don’t know what they should do or worst assume they don’t need to check anything.

So what, if anything, should I be checking on my car?

Those of us in the older generation category, (wow I never thought I would ever be saying that meaning me!) grew up, checking oils, water, antifreeze and tyres regularly. We had to or you paid the price.
Mostly it was dad or a family member or friend who drilled it into us. We soon picked up on the fact that cars need looking after.

The five regular checks we needed to do in the olden days were…

  1. Oil level
  2. Tyre pressures
  3. Washer fluid
  4. Coolant level
  5. Brake fluid

Ok some of you are now yawning and are tempted to stop reading – hang in there!
A little knowledge of your car can go a long way to stop real inconvenience and possible breakdown. Trust me!

Bearing in mind how much cars have changed over the years I thought I would compile an updated list for 2017 – but you know what… none of them have changed. Today, cars are no different really, the same five things need to be checked.

Most of the cars you are driving will have a ‘warning system’ in place. So if any of them need attention the car will tell us. A light on the dash ‘beams’ at you! Of course you will need to know how to deal with this but at least you are warned and can get advice and help.
Those of us who wore ‘flares and platform shoes’ the first time around will remember we had to check them regularly! I found and wore my old ‘shell’ track suit top the other day, much to the amusement of my two daughters.

“Dad, what IS that?” they shouted, rolling around in hysterics!
“It’s only 30 years old, it still fits…. good as new!” I exclaim!

But how often should I check these items in the car?

I believe in being realistic.
Have you ever bought something that has to be put together, say a child’s toy? The instructions will contain warnings of dire consequences if you don’t follow the instructions of ongoing maintenance.

I remember constructing a garden swing set. Not only did it take me all morning to put together but the instructions said that weekly, yes weekly I had to recheck all the bolts and nuts for tightness and monthly I had to lubricate all the joints!
So, every Saturday I was asked to schedule an amount of time to maintain this swing, to prevent the remotest possibility of something going a miss. How many people are going to do that?
But, when you think about it, a nut coming loose and little Hannah flying off!
So there is a reason behind this.
Like checking our cars we need to use common sense and be realistic as to what what we should do to be on the safe side.

The first two on the list, oil and tyres I have dealt with in recent e mails and so we will get to the last three next time.

In the meantime, hope the Town traffic is not getting you down. In fact after my rant last week things have been easier but hey it’s half term! At least I thought it was better until this morning when more traffic lights have been put up in Lockfield Drive coming into Woking!

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