Insurance & you

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Car safety checks

Modern cars are very reliable, but there are a few basic things to check that will help prevent problems before they even start.
Man cleaning car dipstick
Here are the five routine checks that we recommend to everyone taking out car insurance:

1. Windscreen wipers

Weather and simple wear and tear mean that wiper blades sometimes need to be replaced. Check for cracked or noisy blades and replace them before you find yourself unable to see through a rain lashed windscreen on a dark night. It’s also worth checking the fluid in your wiper wash reservoir before setting off on a long journey.

2. Engine oil

When you check your motor engine oil you should be looking at the oil level and the colour, because dark dirty oil will affect how your car runs. Your motor manual will show you where to find the engine oil dipstick and also how to check the level of oil. The oil should look clear and smooth rather than gritty and very dark.

3. Coolant

This is one of the most important things to check regularly. Engines work hard and get hot, so to keep temperatures down water is circulated around the engine. Without coolant your engine can overheat, bring your car to a standstill and damage your engine.

Check your car’s manual for the right mix of anti-freeze and water for your engine.

4. Motor insurance

By law everyone must have motor insurance and there are hundreds of choices available. RIAS specialises in over 50s motor insurance. Do check your policy details, especially if other people drive your car or you’ll be driving abroad.

5. Tyres

Worn tyres lose their grip and can cause accidents and it’s important to check your tyres for visible cracks and any “bald” spots where the tread is wearing thin.
Worn tyres are especially dangerous in wet and cold weather and you’ll use more fuel if your motor has poor or wrongly inflated tyres.

Remember the legal minimum tread depth for cars is: A minimum of 1.6mm in a continuous band throughout the central three-quarters of the tread width, throughout the whole of the circumference.


Read more information on the over 50s car insurance policy.

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