Car Maintenance And The Theory Test – Part One

Knowing where to find certain features on a vehicle, and how to maintain them, has become part-and-parcel of the driving theory test and practical driving exam. It is therefore essential that you know your stuff.

Being able to know the difference between your car battery and your car bonnet will prove significant when it comes to answering test questions and taking your practical driving exam.

In your theory test you may be asked a question regarding a vehicle’s battery. Would you know what to do if the battery was flat in order to get the car started again?

Before you begin your practical driving exam the instructor will lift the car bonnet and randomly select two features that you will need to identify. Your instructor could ask you how to check the oil level, so knowledge of vehicle maintenance is certainly worth having.

Basic Vehicle Maintenance

Part one of this series covers basic vehicle maintenance. Any number of questions could emerge in your theory test relating to vehicle maintenance, but here’s a list of the most common themes covered in the exam regarding vehicle maintenance:

· Lights

· Brakes

· Steering

· Exhaust systems

· Seat belts

· Demisters

· Wipers Washers

What You Need To Know

· How all lights and indicators function

· How your windscreen wipers and windows operate

· How to monitor exhaust emissions

· Know how to check seats, seatbelts and head restraints

Further to the items above, you also need to familiarise yourself with all the warning displays on your vehicle instrument panel. It’s not uncommon to encounter questions on the theory test related to a vehicle’s dashboard panel.

When starting a car, if there is a problem with the vehicle, your instrument panel will indicate the source of the problem. It could be a low oil level for example, so as part of your theory test and practical driving exam you would need to know how to add oil to a vehicle.

Tyres are also another common theme when it comes to vehicle maintenance. Knowing your tyre pressures and being able to identify when a tyre is so worn that it needs changing, could be the difference in passing your theory test and practical driving exam.

For instance, do you know what the legal tread limit is for a tyre used on a car being driven on the road? Well, now is the time to find out…

You will also need to know what impact damaged tyres could have on the rest of a vehicle. For example, under-inflated or over-inflated tyres will affect steering performance and braking capabilities.

That concludes part one of this series… Watch this space for part two!!!

Maintenance Tips: What Makes a Car Overheat and How to Avoid It

The car is a machine that can run for hours without packing up. Sometimes, the car will overheat because of a number of problems and faults. Here is what makes a car overheat and how to avoid it in the future to give you a flawless road trip.

The most common reason why the car overheats is due to extreme heat conditions. Although, this is the most common factor to overheating, it isn’t the only one.

Cooling System Leaks – every engine must have a cooling system. It either has to be air-cooled or it has to use liquids in the cooling system. There may be a time where a leak might be present if a seal hasn’t been installed properly. The leak drops the pressure in the car making less liquid travel throughout the engine.

Block – a collection of debris in the engine is not uncommon but it isn’t normal. Debris could be made up of dust particles that have been collected. There could also be a thermostat that has not opened properly.

Failed Water Pump – this cause of overheating is one of the more common reasons. This car part assists the circulation of the coolant and maintains it. There could be an instance where the bearing could wear down and ultimately fail, stopping the coolant from circulating around the engine.

Coolant Problems – sometimes the coolant hasn’t been concentrated enough. This is usually a problem in the colder climates and cooler weather conditions. If the coolant gets too cold it will become thicker and more gel-like and block the pipes of the cooling system.

To avoid your car from packing up when it’s hot you need to switch the air conditioner off and open your windows at the first sign of overheating. You can turn the heater or blower on to transfer the heat into the car. It might be uncomfortable for you or any passengers you have in the car but your engine won’t give up when doing this.

You can let the car idle and rev it so that the water pump and fans can work faster to cool the engine down.

Don’t use the brakes too much when you are in heavy traffic. The more you stop the harder the engine has to work to move forward again. If you’re not careful you will need brake repairs sooner than necessary. Rather crawl slowly along the road if you can see the traffic flowing slightly.