Learning to drive

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Oil Check

  • Make sure your car is parked on a level surface.
  • Pull out the dipstick and wipe it with a cloth or rag
  • Place the dipstick back and wait a few seconds, take the dipstick out again and the oil should lie between the full and minimum mark.
  • Check the colour of the oil. If it is black then it could be time for an oil change. The oil should be brown and rich looking. If the oil has white in it, then this could signify more serious problems, such as a head gasket. If this is the case get your car to a garage as soon as you can, otherwise you could have a very big repair bill !
  • If the oil is low, then top it up. Make sure you put the correct type of oil in your car. Add oil bit by bit. Let the oil settle and once again follow the above procedure. You should see the oil level go up. Continue adding oil until it reads between full and minimum on the dipstick.

Engine Coolant

*If you are not sure where the coolant bottle is on your car, consult the owner’s manual*

  • The coolant level should lie between the “full” and “low” marks on the coolant bottle.
  • When the engine is cold simple add engine coolant until it reads full


  • It is important to check your tyre pressures at least once a month. If your tyres are under-inflated it will cost you more in fuel and can affect the cars handling.
  • Either use a tyre pressure monitor or check them at a petrol station
  • It is also important to check the tread depth of your tyres. The minimum tread depth is 1.6MM, if your tyres are under (or close to this limit) then get them changed immediately. It is vital that tyres have a good level of tread, otherwise you are putting yours and other people’s lives in danger.

Windscreen Fluid

*If you are not sure where your windscreen fluid bottle is on your car, consult the owner’s manual*

  • It is important to have windscreen fluid in your car. There is nothing worse than driving with a dirty windscreen so it always a good idea to make sure you have enough in your car at all times.
  • Simply open the bottle cap and add fluid to the full mark


  • Check all lights are working. If one indicator light blinks faster than the other, then it is a sign that the bulb has blown. If this is the case change the bulb immediately.
  • Before driving at night make sure the headlights are working. This means checking the sidelights and main beam lights. Also make sure all the rear lights are also working.