Whether driving’s essential for your work or a passport to weekend adventures, there’s no doubt it brings a wonderful sense of freedom. But keeping up with the car maintenance can be the difference between carpool karaoke and hard shoulder hell, so, as winter starts to bite, here are the basics!

1. Tread carefully

Tyre pressure and their condition should be checked regularly as, according to the AA, damaged tyres are one of the top 10 breakdown causes and it’s vital to check for punctures and bulges. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm but most experts recommend a minimum of 3mm, while tyre pressure needs to be boosted when you have a heavier load in your car (no breakdowns on the way to the airport, please!).

2. Oil’s well that ends well 

A car can use up to a litre of oil every 1,000 miles, and allowing levels to become too low could potentially damage your engine. Check your oil every couple of weeks and also before you set off on a long journey, making sure it’s safely between the minimum and maximum marks. Regular checks can help avoid that red warning light coming on but, if you feel you’re topping up more than usual, it could be worth a trip to the garage.

3. Weather watch

Frost and icy roads can be a real hazard at this time of year, and checking coolant and antifreeze levels should keep your vehicle running nicely. Keeping the screen wash filled up helps to prevent smears and grime, too. 

As much as we need grit on the roads when temperatures tumble, stone chips can lead to pesky paintwork damage! If your car or van becomes scratched, our SMART repairs can be carried out at your home, workplace or any location we can access power. Keeping your paintwork looking as good as new not only helps maintain the vehicle’s value but can also help ward off rust.

4. Brake time 

Brakes should never be spongy or slack before and your vehicle shouldn’t pull to one side. As part of your regular maintenance, pop open the bonnet and check the hydraulic brake fluid by checking the level against high and low markers in the reservoir. Most modern vehicles have warning lights that will come on when it’s time to change the brake pads, but you can also examine them yourself for signs of wear and tear and listen out for screeching noises. The RAC’s brake pad guide will help.

5. Service with a smile

Regular servicing helps prevent damage, pick up danger signs before trouble arises and keep you safe on the roads. Your car’s handbook will tell you when a service is due, while a winter service is always a good idea to ensure your vehicle is in tip-top condition for the more hazardous driving conditions.


Storm Ciara has, unfortunately caused some damage to cars, vans and motorbikes. If you’d like us to assess any scratches or dents, call us on 07891 018194 or email us at david@db7repairs.co.uk for a free quotation.