Thame Driving Blog

    Remember the Day You Passed Your Driving Test?: 5 things we'd recommend you keep on top of with your car

    Thame Driving Blog

    About 2 years ago I was approached by several customers about information that we know as "motor industry experts" but is unknown to the wider public.

    I thought that knowing what to do to pass your MOT or how to claim money back if you hit a pothole was easy information to find. Apparently not, and anayway when it comes to cars and motoring, what I have found is that there is alot of guff and untruths out there. The feeling I got was that people want to listen to people that they trust.

    So....I started writing articles about useful motoring information, amusing tales and local information. I now send this out to over 2,000 people on a monthly basis along with other motor related emails and generally get really good feedback. In fact what happens now is that my readers are now telling me what to write about.

    I hope you enjoy the articles and if there is a particular topic you want to know about then please let me know.


    Do you remember the day you passed your driving test?

    If you were anything like me you’ll have been super-proud, and just itching to get your hands on your first car and get on the roads.

    You’d been deemed a low enough risk to be let loose on the roads all by yourself.

    A master of clutch control and parallel parking.

    Confident with 3 point turns and the emergency brake.

    Finally, YOU were a driver as well.

    But in amongst your pride and newly found freedom you may also have realised that there was lots still to learn.

    Not just in terms of gaining experience, but in the other silly little things that go hand in hand with owning and operating a car.

    Like checking the oil, tyres and engine coolant. Keeping on top of car maintenance and what all this strange paperwork was that people were telling you to keep safe.

    Last time I looked, you don’t get taught any of that in your driving lessons.

    These days of course you’re a pro, thanks to a combination of what your mum & dad told you, advice from friends and perhaps a bit of trial and error.

    You know how to look after your car and I’m sure you do a fine job.

    But we’re in the middle of putting together a ‘New Driver’s Guide: What They Don’t Teach You At The School Of Motoring’ and I thought I’d share some of the basics with you.

    Just as a refresher of course

    Here are 5 things that we’d recommend you keep on top of with your car:

    1) Check your oil level every 6 months.

    If you get your car serviced annually they’ll do this for you then (and top it up if necessary), but mark the 6 month point on your calendar and take 2 minutes to check the oil.

    2) Check your tyre pressure monthly.

    First Saturday of the month, get yourself to the garage and put some air in your tyres.

    Even slightly squidgy tyres will affect your car’s handling, fuel efficiency and safety and once a month is about the right frequency for checking them.

    If you’d prefer, we offer a free tyre check service right here at Thame Tyre Shop so just pop in and we’ll have it done for you in the time it takes you to drink a cup of complimentary coffee.

    3) Check tyre wear monthly.

    Just do this whilst you check the pressure, but here’s a great tip: turn your steering wheel to full lock so you can inspect the inside edge of your front tyres (then turn them the other way as well!)

    Uneven tyre wear can be an early warning sign that something’s not right with your wheel alignment (get in touch with us ASAP if you do notice something odd about your tyre wear as we can help advise you what to do).

    4) Check coolant levels every 6 months.

    This is another thing that’ll be checked in your annual service, but that still leaves once a year where you should be checking your levels.

    Top it up if necessary; last thing you want is for your engine to overheat in all this lovely hot English weather we’re in for this summer!

    5) Top up washer fluid monthly

    When you’re doing your tyres at the garage, top up your washer fluid whilst you’re at it.

    A glug of washer fluid and then a top up of water once a month is all it takes.

    It helps you avoid having to drive right behind lorries on the motorway on a rainy day, hoping to catch some spray because your screen wash has just run out.

    Like I said, I’m sure you’re on top of all this already but it’s always good to have a reminder. If you have any great ideas we can add to this please let me know.

    When we’ve put together our New Driver report I’ll let you know. Then if you know of any new drivers you can help them shortcut their learning curve to becoming a ‘proper’ driver.

    Have a great weekend,

    P.S. I’m serious about the free tyre check thing.

    Just pop in, grab a free coffee and we’ll do the dirty work for you.