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Weekly Checks 12 years 6 months ago #24270

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For those of us who want to keep our cars running well and as reliable as possible then it is good practice to know your car and have warning of any problems before they become too serious or expensive.

One way to do this is to carry out regular checks of your car.

They don’t have to be too in depth, but could save you money, or even save your life.

Weekly checks should just be a cursory check of oil levels and consumables to make sure that your car is running at its optimum and not storing up any surprises such as a seized engine or tyre blowout on the motorway.

The following list is not an exhaustive check list but is a guide. You can add to the list as you see fit.

Things that you would check on a weekly basis are:


Wipers and squirters

Tyre condition

Tyre pressure

Oil Level

Coolant Level

Brake Fluid

Clutch Fluid

So, first we should check the lights. Turn the ignition to aux, which is the position before turning the engine over. This gives a supply to all systems.

Now switch on and check all exterior lights, including:

Side lights front and rear
Dipped Beam
Main beam
Indicators/Hazards including side repeaters
Brake lights including high level brake light if fitted
Reverse lights
Fog lights
Number Plate lights
Interior lights.

If any lamps are faulty then replace the lamp or fix the fault

Next comes the wipers and squirters

Check the wipers for correct operation, smoothness of running and check the blades for damage.

Operate the squirters and make sure they work and cover the whole windscreen.

Check the level of fluid and top up if necessary.

The squirter bottle can be found just behind the spare wheel.

Now check the condition of the tyres.

You are looking for cracks in the sidewall or tread, bulges, cuts, deformities and foreign objects.

Be sure to check the inner tyre wall too, as there have been a few failures here.

This is a tyre off my Focus ST. I had checked it a couple of days before this but missed this bulge. The only thing that happened was it failed an MOT, it could have let go and suddenly deflated at 70mph. This kind of damage is common from tyre defects and pothole damage.

Also, check the tyre pressures.

Correct tyre pressures are important on a TF. Not only will it give you better fuel economy, but it will give you better grip and handling. There have been occasions that people have reported bad handling on their car just for it to be too high or low tyre pressure.

Another important weekly check is the engine oil level.

Checking this weekly will give you a feel for any trends and whether it is using oil. At the worst, if the oil gets too low then the engine bearings will start to suffer from oil starvation resulting in increased wear and possibly a seized engine. The simple action of topping up your oil could save you £2k on an engine rebuild or scrapping your car. A word of caution, do not overfill. Too much oil can cause frothing/aeration in the sump and can destroy your engine just as easily as under filling.

Pop the bootlid and you should see the dipstick on the offside of the engine bay.

You should have left the engine off for at least ten minutes before checking and the car should be on a level area.

Pull the dipstick out and wipe it

Now push the dipstick fully home and withdraw again.

The oil should be between the 2 marks on the dipstick for correct level.

The picture shows the oil only just registering on the dipstick and it needs topping up.

While you are in the boot, you should check the coolant level.

Inside the tank there is a stepped piece of plastic. The level should be between the upper and lower step. In this pick it is just on top of the upper step.

Again, weekly checks will give you an early warning of any impending problems due to leaks etc. Low coolant level is one of the major causes of HGF, so it is well worth checking.

Do not remove the coolant tank cap when the engine is hot. This could cause scalding and burns.

The last thing is to check the brake and clutch fluid levels. If low then top up with the Dot 4 correct fluid.

The brake and clutch tank can be found under the bonnet.

The brake fluid header tank is near the nearside wing close to the battery.

Check that the level is between the min and max marks. If not, then top up with suitable DoT4 fluid.

And similarly with the clutch fluid.

As said, this is not an exhaustive list and you can add as you see fit.
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Re: Weekly Checks 12 years 6 months ago #24274

Nice one, Clive. :thumbsup:
What's the bungee for?:shrug:

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Re: Weekly Checks 12 years 6 months ago #24275

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What's the bungee for?:shrug:

They are elasticated ropes that are traditionally used for securing a load in place. :yesnod:
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Re: Weekly Checks 12 years 6 months ago #24276

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Loads there i wouldn't have thought of, Been spoilt by having a car with

a) A light / readout / icon / for every conceivable thing possible on the car
b) Its a company car, Not my job to check it
c) i get a new one next month
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Last edit: Post by David Aiketgate.
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