Alongside the legally required annual MOT test, it’s recommended that all drivers keep up to date with servicing and basic maintenance on their cars. This is to protect the vehicle, themselves, passengers and other motorists.

Many checks on a car should be done by a qualified mechanic in MOT tests and servicing, however, there are a few maintenance tasks you can do yourself regularly. Performing basic checks on your vehicle can help to keep you safe on the road and potentially avoid the cost of more significant or expensive repairs down the line.

So, what maintenance checks can you perform yourself?

Check fluid levels

One of the easiest tasks you should be doing regularly is checking your car’s fluid levels. The main fluids that you should be checking often are engine oil, coolant and windscreen wash – the others are a little more technical and should be checked by a mechanic during servicing.

You can check engine oil levels by finding the dipstick under the bonnet. You should then remove it and wipe it clean before reinserting it into the engine – withdraw it once again and the oil level should be between the two markers on the dipstick. If not, you will have to act accordingly to get it to the right level.

The coolant reservoir is typically a clear container under the bonnet connected to the engine. Find this and inspect the fluid level to ensure that it’s between the markers on the outside of the container.

If you’re trying to wash your windscreen but no liquid is being sprayed then you probably need to fill the wash bottle under the bonnet. It should have a cap with a windscreen symbol on it – fill this up with the appropriate screen wash and seal it tightly.

Inspect your tyres

The tyres on your car are so important for the safety and efficiency of your vehicle. If they aren’t in optimal condition, they can put you at risk and make your car less fuel efficient which will cost you more money.

You should inspect your tyres regularly to look for signs of cracks, bulges and splits. Your tread depth, which is the depth of the grooves around the wheel, legally should be at least 1.6mm to ensure that your car has enough traction and grip on the road surface. If your tread depth is any lower, you should be thinking about replacing your tyres as soon as possible or you could be faced with a fine, points on your licence and invalidated insurance if you try to make a claim.

It’s also essential that you test the air pressure of your tyres. Your car’s manufacturer will recommend the ideal pressure in your vehicle handbook, so find this and test your tyre pressure accordingly.

Test your lights

Having working lights is critical for any nighttime driving. They help to light the way ahead of you and allow other motorists to see you clearly on the roads.

Test your headlights before you set off if you’re driving at night, and periodically check your brake lights to ensure that other road users will know when you’re braking.

This is also a simple thing to check when buying a car as well, since if the lights are in good shape, then it should give you a sense of the state of repair of the entire vehicle. Of course, if you’re buying from a reputable local dealer, such as the EchoPark Houston car lot, then you won’t have to worry about such issues.

Inspect your windscreen wipers

Finally, an easy check you can do to make sure you stay safe in wet driving conditions is to inspect your windscreen wipers. Check for any damage to the wiper blade or the arm and replace them if necessary.

You never know when it’s going to start raining so you need to be confident in your wipers to clear your windscreen while you are driving.

These are just some easy checks that you can do regularly to keep your car in good working condition between MOTs and services. The more care and attention you give your car, the less you are likely to pay for repairs and maintenance down the line – so it’s definitely worth your while!