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Maintaining your car is easy – We’ve listed some key areas that you need to check to ensure your car is safe to drive and in good working order.


Check your brake discs for signs of uneven wear and keep an eye on how much brake pads you have left. Any strange noises from your brakes is usually a sign of worn pads.  A spongy brake pedal could mean worn pads or discs, low brake fluid or air in the system.


Check your cars oil regularly by first warming your car up, then turn it off, open the bonnet, allow the oil to settle, and then remove the dip-stick.

Clean it with a paper towel or cloth and re-insert into the engine then remove to check your oil level.

There will be a minimum and maximum level and ideally you want your oil to be in the middle or slightly above.   But don’t over fill as this can be as damaging as too little oil in your engine.


Chips or cracks on your windscreen can mean an MOT fail but if caught early they can be repaired before the crack starts to spread.

Windscreen Wipers and Washer levels

If your windscreen wipers are leaving water behind or smears check them for signs of wear, tears or rips and replace.

Also keep your windscreen washer reservoir level topped up with a mixture of water and cleaning additive that has an anti-freeze agent.


A faulty headlight will provide poor visibility and can be dangerous to oncoming traffic as you may be mistaken for a motorbike and it will also draw the attention of the Police.

Carry out a regular visual inspection of all the lights – side lights first, then dipped headlights, main headlights, fog lights.  Turn on your hazard lights to check the indicators and use a reflection or ask a friend to press the brake pedal so you can check they are working.


A healthy battery is essential and during winter it is put under a lot of pressure so tell-tale signs of a battery becoming weak is when you turn the key if the turnover become laboured or if your lights look dim and your wipers move slowly.  Although this can also be a sign of a faulty alternator.

Car cleaning

Keeping your car clean is not only good for the bodywork but will maximise your resale value.

Car care kits can be picked up cheap but invest in a good quality car shampoo and wax or polish.

It’s a good idea to have two buckets, one for hot water and shampoo and the other with clean water.

MOT Tips

If you’ve followed the above steps then your car will be almost ready for MOT.
But as well as cleaning it inside and out, it’s essential to get the underneath washed too.

You can do it yourself by jacking the car up on axle stands but it’s much easier to bring it to a garage with a set of ramps specially for MOT washing.

It’s also wise to get a mechanic to give your car an MOT check and make sure he checks the headlights for alignment too.

Make sure your horn is working and fog lamp plus your fog lamp switch that needs to be illuminated.

Check that you have no warning lights on your dash, especially an ABS light
And finally try all your seatbelts that they lock when pulled hard and retract properly.

Provided by Darren Liggett – Irish Sun Motoring Editor

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