woman_and_carWho says that motor maintenance is a men’s job? Men do!
But there are a lot of simple tasks that you can manage easily. And if you get in the habit of carrying out regular checks you can cut down on expensive garage bills and avoid the risk of breaking down, which can be dangerous if you are on your own.
This is the time of the year when your car suffers most from wear and tear. Mud and grit can cause damage to the bodywork. Cold weather can stall your car and make the battery go flat.

Here are 12 simple checks which are worth keeping in your car to remind you.
They were given to me by my mechanic friend.

1) Check the oil and water every two weeks.
2) Check the tyre pressure every month – six weeks.
3) See if the battery needs topping up every month – six weeks.
NB Numbers 1-3 shouldn’t need any attention. If they do, check them more often. If there’s any drastic change, inform your garage.
4) Top up the windscreen washers every two weeks, or more often in bad weather.
Add a drop of washing-up liquid to the water. It helps to clean the windscreen more easily.
5) Fill up with petrol before the gauge is on a quarter full. The engine can suck up the muck in the bottom of the petrol tank if the fuel gets too low.
6) Always carry a spare fanbelt and good quality jump leads.
If you are travelling on the Continent it’s compulsory to carry a set of spare bulbs and a warning triangle. And it’s a good idea to carry them here as well.
woman_and_car27) Jet wash your car when it’s dirty, especially at the end of winter when the roads have been salted. Make sure that you clean under the wheel arches where the mud collects.
8) Invest in a set of mud flaps. They help to keep the rear bumper free of spraying mud.
9) When you’re driving, if a red light comes on, stop at once and investigate it. Check the fanbelt and the oil level.
10) Have your car serviced about every 6,000 miles. Check with your local dealer how often they recommend a service.
11) In the winter carry plenty of spare clothes, a roll of tinfoil (very good insulation) a thermos flask of hot water, an ice scraper and a de-icer spray, your mobile phone, and a spade in the boot in case you get stuck.
I often take my hot-water bottle with me if it’s very cold. It’s lovely resting on my lap or behind me. And there are lots of places that you can re-fill it before you come home, although it keeps warm for hours..
12) Join a breakdown service like the AA or the RAC. If you need them just once they’ll be worth the annual fee!
Women can’t take the risk of breaking down on the road when they’re on their own. But looking after your car will help to keep you safe and out of danger. And it’s good for the temper too!