2020 has been a strange year for us all, with many people having to adapt in the wake of a global pandemic. Whether you’ve been working from home or you’ve become more reliant on deliveries than ever before, the reality is that the majority of us have gotten used to not being behind the wheel of a car.
With the easing of restrictions, the urge to hit Malta’s road again is evident… but is your car in tip-top shape after weeks of lying idle?
Luckily for those who know absolutely nothing about cars (I am definitely included) GasanZammit has put together a simple checklist of easy tests you can do at home to make sure your car is in tip-top shape.
Because the last you want when you get back behind the wheel is for everything to just fall apart.
1. Be sure to check your fluids
A car is a bit like the human body; smooth, useful, takes you places…
On a more serious note, it does also depend on different fluids for different functions.
Just like with people, if your fluid levels drop, a whole series of problems can ensue. Be sure to give your oil and coolant levels a thorough check before hitting the roads, as well as your power steering fluid.
2. And don’t forget to inspect your tyres
So, when talking about tyres, there’s this thing called the tread, right.
The first thing you would want to look out for is the depth of tread of your four tyres.
In simple terms, the tread is the rubber on your tyre which touches the road. To ensure a good grip, your tyres have grooves in them. While a safe depth of tread is 8-9 mm, as time goes by this depth wears down, so you need to always make sure you’re safe on the roads.
Also, make sure your tyre pressure is up to scratch and inflate if needed, to avoid the previously-mentioned dreaded wear and tear.
And while you’re down there, give your spare tyre a good check-over too and make sure that your car is stocked with a jack and a tyre iron. You’ll be happy you did in case of an emergency.
Now might also be a good time to check out your wheel alignment, especially if you are noticing your car veering off to one side or another whilst driving.
3. Test ’em lights, baby!
Checking your headlights and high beams are essential, especially as people stay out later during the summer months ahead. And don’t forget about the back; your brake and reverse lights are just as important.
Grab a friend to check them for you whilst you brake and shift into reverse gear. If that’s not possible, reverse close to a wall and look out for the reflection in your rear-view mirror.
4. Maintain your car’s battery
The best way to maintain your car’s battery is to try connecting it to a mains-powered battery maintainer. If this isn’t feasible for you, at least make sure to start your engine at least once a week, allowing it to run for no less than 15 minutes. This will keep your engine in good condition and it will also help recharge your battery. Double yes!
On the other hand, if your whip is electric or a hybrid model, it’s most probably got a 12-volt battery like combustion engines, however, their batteries charge differently.
Pressing the start button operates the charging system, and it is recommended that this is done once a week for at least 10 minutes to make sure that battery charges. Plug-in hybrids and some electric vehicles can maintain their batteries when plugged into a charger.
5. Lastly, make sure to book your car in for a vehicle health check
If you are not a DIY kind of person, book your car in for a vehicle health check which covers your brakes, tyres, lights, fluid levels, exhaust, steering, suspension, and electrics. So basically, this whole list and way more.
GasanZammit offers vehicle health checks for all manufacturers, literally any car on the Maltese islands. They ensure your vehicle, no matter the make, model or brand, is in good working condition and keeping happy drivers on the roads. Welcome back baby!