On the occasion of Road Safety Week, we recently conducted a survey of over 800 motorists which revealed that 7 in 10 car owners delay going to a mechanic when car problems arise – which could potentially be dangerous not only for drivers and passengers but may put fellow road users at risk as well.
Combined with a 31.7% MOT failure rate in the UK, it could mean that millions of cars on UK roads have potentially safety-related critical issues. Putting off fixing issues on your vehicle, whether flagged on an MOT or something that comes up when you drive, could lead to further damage over time.
Here’s a few common issues that should be addressed as soon as possible, to help ensure your car is in tip-top condition:
Abnormal squeaks, squeals and vibrations
If you notice any unusual high pitch squeaks or squeals coming from the car while driving it could mean that something has become loose or become faulty. It could mean there is a problem with your brakes, suspension or steering and it’s definitely something you should get checked by a mechanic as soon as possible.
Dashboard warning lights
This is the most obvious sign a driver can be given that something is wrong with the car while on the road. There are a huge number of different dashboard lights which can appear on modern-day cars, so refer to the vehicles manual book to ensure you’re familiar with what they mean.
As a general rule of thumb, orange/amber warnings need checking urgently, but the red warning may require you to pull over and stop driving immediately. It’s always worth getting warning lights on your dashboard diagnosed at the earliest opportunity.
Brakes and suspension
If you find that the car “pulls” to one side while braking, that could mean damaged brake linings, fluid contamination, failing wheel cylinder, seized brake caliper or even a failed suspension component. It’s important to get an inspection as soon as possible to identify and fix the problem.
If the brake light on your dashboard turns on, always get a professional to check your brakes and recommend next steps. This helpful post gives more details on signs that your brakes need attention.
The easiest way to check tread depth to ensure it meets the minimum legal standards of 1.6mm is by placing a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of your tyre. If the outer band of the 20p coin is obscured when it is inserted, then your tread is above the legal limit. If the outer band of the coin is visible, then your tyres may be illegal and unsafe and should be checked immediately by a mechanic.
Over or under-inflated tyres can also pose a risk to vehicle safety. Check your tyre pressures as incorrect pressure will cause damage to the tyre and may even render the tyre dangerous.
Be a Road Safety Hero by ensuring you service your car periodically and get your car checked if you notice something is amiss or isn’t working as it should.
Alternatively, a Vehicle Health Check is a great way to help check if your vehicle is in good condition. Head to our website and a vetted mechanic can carry out a health check at your choice of time and date.