Free vehicle checklist
Breakdowns are an inconvenience and can’t be completely eliminated. But it is possible to reduce the likelihood of a breakdown with some basic checks, and you don’t need to be a mechanic to do them.
Get into the habit of checking these items once per week, and always before making a long journey.
Fuel: have you got enough petrol or diesel (or battery) for your journey? Do you know where you can fill up along the journey? Have you remembered you bank card to pay for it? Have you got human-fuel (commonly know as food!) too?
Lights: switch on your headlights and hazard warning lights, and walk around your car. Check all lights are working. Have you got spare bulbs? Do you keep a torch in your car?
Oil: when the engine is cold, and with your engine switched off, use the dipstick to check your oil level.
Water: with the engine switched off, check the coolant reservoir (usually a green or orange liquid) is at the correct level. Have you got drinking water for yourself too?
Electrics: check out any warning lights on the dashboard, especially RED lights. Is your phone charged?
Rubber (tyres): check your tyres aren’t obviously deflated. Check the tread depth once a week, and make sure the side walls are free from cuts and bulges.