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5 Basic Checks Before You Hit The Open Road

Basic Checks Before You Hit The Open Road

As the Easter long weekend is now only a hop, skip, and a jump away, you may be considering using this opportunity to get back on the open road, to visit some of the favourite places you have been missing or to explore some of the exciting places you have so far only read about!

With the various lockdowns that have been endured and the increase in the numbers of people working from home, it may be that your car has played a smaller part in your life recently than it used to. And yet, we expect them to be ready to go when we are!

By performing checks on your car regularly, you increase your chances of catching any potential problems before they become an expensive repair.

Here are 5 Basic Checks You Can Do Before You Hit The Open Road…

Regular checks and maintenance are all it takes to avoid potential car reliability problems.

These simple tips can help you keep your car in shape and ready for your adventure!

Oil_Level_check

1. Oil Level

Oil is the lifeblood of your engine, keeping the internals lubricated and functioning as intended. To get an accurate reading of your oil level, follow these steps:

  • Park the car on level ground.
  • Oil can be checked when the engine is hot or cold. Check the owner’s manual if you are unsure.  If you have had the vehicle running, turn the engine off and wait a few minutes for the oil to settle.
  • Remove the oil dipstick and wipe clean.
  • Reinsert the dipstick all the way and then remove once more to check the level on the dipstick. Should you need to top up the oil, ensure you are using the recommended viscosity for your engine and top up in small amounts. Allow time for the oil to reach the sump and repeat the process to check the oil level. It is important not to overfill the oil.
  • Remember to push the dipstick fully in when you have finished your checks.
  • If you are regularly filling your car with oil, this could be a sign of a bigger problem and you should consult a qualified mechanic.

Water_coolant_check

2. Water/Coolant Level

‘Do not remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot. Always let the engine cool for a few hours to avoid injury.’ Checking your water/coolant level is easy and should be performed on a weekly basis. Your car should be on a level surface and allowed to cool. Most cars carry a reservoir (as seen in the picture above) with MIN and MAX markings on the exterior allowing you to observe the current level. A quick check of the radiator coolant is as easy as looking at the level in the plastic overflow bottle of most cars. The coolant level should be in between the high and low markings. Should you need to top up the level, a 50/50 mix of coolant and demineralised (or distilled) water is recommended. Refer to your owner’s manual to ensure you are using a coolant that is suitable for your vehicle. Make sure to only top up to the MAX marker. Do not fill all the way. Tyre_presure_and_condition

3. Tyre Pressure and Condition

Your tyres are the only contact your car has to the road. If you are about to embark on that road trip, it is great timing to check and see if you need a new set of tyres. A few quick checks prior to driving are a must to keeping you and your family safe.

  • Tyre pressures if incorrect can reduce the life of your tyres, may make your car less safe and is often uncomfortable to drive. The correct tyre pressures specifically for your car are located on the tyre placard. This can be found on the driver’s side front door. Failing this, refer to your owner’s manual.

Tyre_pressure_check

  • Check to see if your tyres have enough tread. Tyres should have a minimum of 1.5 mm of tread across the entire tread surface. Tyres have wear indicators located between the grooves in the tread (as seen in the image above). When the tread is worn to the indicators, it is time for a new tyre.
  • Check your tyres for:
    • Uneven or abnormal wear.
    • Damage such as cracks or bulges. This could indicate a suspension or steering problem.
  • Regularly rotating your tyres (swapping the front tyres for the rear) helps even out the wear and extend tyre life. It would be a good idea to have this done before a big trip.

Don’t forget to perform the same checks for your spare tyre. Just because it is out of sight, it should not be out of mind.  windscreen_washer_Check

You may also read... Why-mobile-mechanics-are-building-in-popularity

 

4. Windscreen Washer and Wiper Function

Washer fluid:

Fill your washer bottle with clean water and a small amount of windscreen-washer additive if you wish. Avoid using kitchen and laundry detergents as they may damage your paintwork and wiper blades.

Windscreen wipers:

Clear visibility out of your windscreen is fundamental to safe driving. If your wipers are torn, noisy or do not clean your windscreen, visibility could be compromised, so a simple check prior to leaving on your road trip is a must. Operating the wipers on a dry windscreen could scratch and damage the windscreen. This could affect visibility. Make sure fluid is introduced to the windscreen before operating the wipers. taillight-indicator-check

5. Checking Headlights, Taillights and Indicators

Having working lights can often be overlooked. Get help from a friend or a family member and test your indicators and headlights, including the high beams. If you cannot get a friend or family member to help, use a glass window or check against a wall to test the reverse lights, taillights and brake lights.  Checking_headlights_check Finally, don’t forget to top up your fuel before you set off. It may sound like an obvious one, but many people don’t fill up before they leave and find themselves getting stuck in traffic or in unfamiliar surroundings only to realise they’re low on fuel. Avoid the inconvenience and fill up the car prior to leaving. You are all set! Stay safe and enjoy yourselves! And don’t forget, Jim’s Mobile Mechanics are here to assist with any servicing, maintenance or repairs you may need. And we come to you! Click here to read more: Jim’s Mobile Mechanics Services

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Can I Get My Car Serviced Anywhere?

Vehicle Serviced Anywhere

Have you ever delayed getting your car serviced because you just didn’t have the time to get it to the workshop? As our lives get busier, there is little time to attend to all the things that need to get done, even essential things like getting your car serviced. The good news is that there is another option. For anyone that needs a car service, Jim’s Mobile Mechanics has a team of professional mechanics that will come to you and service your car at your convenience. Read on to find out the top benefits of hiring us to service your car.

1. Convenience

This is probably the number one benefit to you as our client. The hassle of scheduling a time when you will be free to take your car to the mechanic is wiped away. While one of our mechanics services your car, you are free to continue with your day and deal with anything else that you need to do. There is no need to take time out of your day to get your Car to get serviced. We will come to you.

2. Transparency

When you take your car to a service center, you need to leave it there for a while. Do you really know what happens to it when you’re not there? Can you be sure that your car was being attended to or it ends up being left in the corner most of the day? When you hire a mobile mechanic, we do all the work at your convenience and you can see exactly what is done to your car.

3. Great Service

It can be quite daunting when you want to discuss your car issues with a regular mechanic. At Jim’s Mobile Mechanics, our mechanics are friendly and approachable. Whenever you need something explained, they will be willing to assist, using the language you understand (without the workshop jargon!). They are also very professional and will service your car in a way that will have it running as good as new for a very long time.

4. Affordable Price

It is very common that mobile car servicing is more affordable than taking your car to a workshop to get serviced. On top of that, you also do not have to drive all the way to the workshop. All the work will be done where you are. This also saves you money as you do not have to pay for the fuel that you’d have used to get to the workshop.

At Jim’s Mobile Mechanics we have a team of qualified and experienced mechanics. They are able to deal with any car issues that can come up. So, what are you waiting for? Book an appointment with one of our mechanics by calling 131 546 today!