The Ultimate Car Maintenance Checklist

This month 1st Call Windscreens will be discussing how often you should perform car maintenance checks, why, and possible problems you could encounter along the way. With winter fast approaching, it’s important to keep on top of your car checklist to prevent accidents from happening and to keep your car in tip top shape. No one wants to be surprised by expensive repairs en route anyway!  

car maintenance checklist - 1st call windscreens

How can I maintain my car?

There are a number of things you can do to ensure your car is well maintained, before going on a long or short journey. So if you’ve been asking yourself What checks can I perform to maintain my car? read on.

Emergency equipment checks

Before going on a journey, make sure that you have the following in your boot:

  • Toolbox
  • Spare tyre
  • Jack
  • Water
  • Oil

The ultimate car maintenance checklist:

Engine checks:

  • Engine oil – checking on the oil levels in your car is highly important. To do this, wait until your car engine is cool and use the dipstick inside the bonnet to check the levels are right where they should be (i.e between the ridges on the stick). If it doesn’t reach the ridge, then you need to add oil.
  • Engine coolant – again, wait until the engine is cool, check the water level meets the ‘full’ line. If it doesn’t, top it up with water so it meets the line.
  • Engine air filter – if this filter is blocked then you could be costing yourself more in petroleum, so ensure that this is empty.

Battery checks:

  • Physically – check for any minor damages such as cracks, leaks or signs of corrosion that might have developed around the terminals, also see to it that the cables are in place and tight.   
  • Turning on your car – if your car takes longer than usual to turn on, then your battery might be low. If it is also older than three years, it’s wise to get it checked to get a good insight regarding its lifetime; as you don’t want to end up on the hard shoulder with your hazards on in the middle of a journey.

Tyre checks:

  • Tyre pressure – you can find out the required pressure in your vehicle’s manual. Using a pressure gauge you can obtain an accurate reading, to find out if they’re at the correct pressure.
  • Tread – checking the tread is really simple, using a 20p coin, pop it into the tread of the tyre and if they’re within the legal requirements, you will no longer see the inner band of the coin. If the band is visible, then the tyres need replacing before the car goes back on the road.

Chassis checks:

  • Bodywork – if you see rust, it’s time to clean and wax your car to avoid further corrosion.


  • Windscreen wipers – check your window wipers by turning them on and going through the modes. If the windscreen wipers make a lot of sound, move irregularly or fail to move, they will need replacing. Windscreen wipers should work smoothly.
  • Windscreen – check for cracks and chips, these need to be tended to as soon as possible. This can be done by a simple injection for small chips but the whole windscreen may need replacing for anything more.
  • Screenwash – to clear obtrusive oils and to prevent your windscreen from freezing, it’s a legal obligation to top up your screenwash.

Door checks:

  • Front, back and boot – check your doors to ensure that they open and close properly. If you have had any serious dents or bumps this may encourage theft as the doors are easy to pry open, so get them fixed.
  • Locks – whether you’re using a key and a lock or a electronic button, make sure that your car both locks and unlocks without an issue.

Car lights checks:

  • Front – have someone help you when you turn on your front lights, to check that both the main beam and dipped beam work.
  • Back/reverse – either reverse back to a garage door to check the reflection or have someone help you to check your back lights and reverse lights, to make sure they’re still working.
  • Fog lights – flash your fog lights on and off in front of a garage door or reflective surface to check that they work correctly.
  • Indicators – flick your indicators on and off, left and right and have someone check that they’re working.

Steering checks:

  • Hydraulic fluid reservoir – this should be topped up when you take your car to the garage but should you notice that the levels are dropping, fill it up with the right fluid.

Horn and brake checks:

  • Horn – simply press on the horn and hear it sound.
  • Brakes – allow the car to roll slowly and press on your brakes to ensure they work.

Should you find any issues with your vehicle when checking before going on a journey, give 1st Call Windscreens a call today. We can tend to your car at anytime, so you can be back on the road in no time at all.

1st Call Windscreens have a wealth of experience providing both domestic and commercial vehicles with windscreen repairs and replacements all day, every day. Our team offer their services throughout a variety of locations including: Maidstone, Gillingham, Sittingbourne, Chatham, Rochester and Medway Towns. If you would like to get in touch for more information, please give us a call today.

Questions? - We can call you back.