In order for your car to be deemed safe and fit for purpose, all parts on the car must be in good working order. Here is a health and safety checklist for making sure your car is safe to operate.

 

Things you should check on your car

 

It is important to check the tread depth on your tyres. In the UK, the legal requirements of tread depth for your tyres are as follows:

Check the tread depth of your tyres

Cars, light vans and light trailers need to have at least 1.6 millimetres (mm) of tread depth, whilst motorcycles, large vehicles and passenger-carrying vehicles need to have at least 1mm in order to be deemed road legal.

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If your tyres do not meet the legal requirements and you are caught by the authorities, you may face a fine of £2,500, or be banned from driving and get 3 penalty points for driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition, this is why it is really important to keep be vigilant with the condition and safety features of your vehicle.

If your tyres are below the legal tread depth requirement, you will need to replace your tyres for new ones, or you can sell your car entirely and purchase a car that has tyres that meet the legal requirements.

✓ Check your oil level before a long car journey (not applicable to electric vehicles)

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Before you set off on a long journey, it is a good idea to check your oil, by opening your bonnet and removing the dipstick from the vehicle and wiping the dipstick clean with a cloth. Put the dipstick back into the vehicle and then remove the dipstick once again. If you have an adequate amount of oil in your car, the oil on the dipstick should be halfway between the minimum and maximum line, if the oil is below the minimum mark, you will need to add oil to your car.

Some cars which have modern, sophisticated technology will notify you when the car becomes low on oil, so you may not have to do the dipstick oil test. If in doubt, check your car’s handbook to see whether this type of technology is included in your car.

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✓ Test the battery of your car

Unfortunately, a flat car battery is something that many of us have faced. This is an issue which has happened with many petrol/diesel cars and it is also something that can happen to an electric car battery if it runs out of charge. However, charging an electric car’s battery is easy, as it can be charged from your charging point at home or at a public EV charging station.

How to test a battery of a petrol/diesel car:

  1. Make sure you have a car battery testing kit.
  2. Open your car bonnet and you will see the car battery, it is a big square block usually situated in the centre of the car’s under-bonnet equipment.
  3. You will see two terminals on the battery, one is ‘-’ and the other is ‘+’. The ‘+’ terminal will often be marked in red and it may even have a metal post, sometimes it can be hidden under a cover. The negative terminal may be attached directly to the metal body of the car. It’ll be made from unpainted metal and may be shaped to accept a charging lead from a car battery testing kit.
  4. Simply attach the clips from the battery testing kit to the correct terminals, please make sure your car is completely turned off before doing so, as you will put yourself at risk by trying to do this on a car that is switched on.
  5. If the battery testing kit reads below 12.4 volts, the battery will need to be charged.
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How to charge a car battery for a petrol/diesel car:

  1. You will need to purchase a car battery charger, make sure the one you have purchased is suitable for your car.
  2. You will need to disconnect the battery from the car, it is important to make sure you have PIN codes for your radio and navigation system as you may need to enter these when your battery is reconnected to your car.
  3. It is vital to disconnect the negative lead first to prevent electrical shock and reconnect it last.
  4.  Then proceed to connect the black clamp to the negative terminal and the red clamp to the positive terminal.
  5. Make sure the clamps on the charging leads are securely attached to the terminals.
  6. Once the battery has been placed on a flat surface, connect the battery charging cables to the battery by matching ‘+’ to ‘+’ and ‘-’ to ‘-’. Then proceed to plug the charger into the electric supply.
  7. The instructions on your charging kit will tell you how long to charge the battery for. Once the battery is fully charged, place the battery back in your car carefully and make sure the battery is re-attached safely and securely.
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Tip: If you are unsure of how to safely charge the battery of your car, always seek professional advice.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

We hope you have enjoyed our health and safety checklist for your car. It is always important to make sure your car is in the best health and the parts on your car are road legal. For further advice on car regulations in the United Kingdom, please visit the official government website.

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