Car breakdowns are a pain in the neck. They can seriously disrupt your day, and standing around on a motorway banking in the howling wind and rain waiting for the AA or RAC is nobody’s idea of fun.

Luckily, there are some simple maintenance checks that you can do just once a week to your car that can minimise the chance of it breaking down and you wishing you’d taken the bus. Here’s West Way Nissan’s guide to simple car maintenance.

Note that these checks don’t replace regular servicing – make sure you still book your car in at the manufacturer’s prescribed schedule and specification. But these extra steps will help take the worry out of your motoring.

Tyres

Maybe you currently check your tyres only when they’re looking a little flat. That’s a bad idea. Not only will your fuel consumption suffer if they’re not up to pressure, but underinflated tyres can lead to loss of control and blowouts.
Check your tyres with a quality gauge or air line at least once every two weeks. You should also check the tread and look for cuts on the side walls. If you find yourself constantly topping up the air in a tyre, it might have a slow puncture. And don’t forget your spare.

Oil

Oil is vital because it touches all the moving parts of your engine. Also, if your engine runs dry of oil, it could seize altogether, which will cost you a penny or two. That’s why you should check your engine oil with the dipstick at least once every two weeks – and definitely before a long trip.

Make sure you have the oil and filter changed at the correct service intervals. If you’re unsure, speak to West Way Nissan. Remember that if you’re going through a lot of oil, that could indicate engine problems.

Water

Check your coolant level at least once a fortnight. Make sure you do this when the engine is cold or you could get scalded. Check the antifreeze concentration before winter and keep some in the system for summer as it helps prevent corrosion in the cooling system.

Screenwash

Dirty windscreens can be a nightmare, especially in winter. Make sure you keep your screenwash topped up with water and a good additive, to help cut through the grime.

Wipers

Mucky weather plus worn wiper blades equals smeary windscreens. The rubber blades gradually wear down, so make sure to replace them annually.

Windscreen

Stone chips can spoil your vision – they can also spread into cracks. If you have a minor chip, a windscreen specialist can usually repair it for free, with your insurer picking up the cost.

Lights

Check your lights once a week, including brake lights, indicators and fogs. Even if they’re all working fine, give them a wipe with a wet cloth.
There you go. With just a little effort, motoring really can be a pain-free experience. If you need any more advice on car maintenance, talk to West Way Nissan’s dedicated Renault service centre in Altrincham on 0161 222 8083 or email us here.