What is a list of a car's routine maintenance?

By Julia Freeman

Both conventional and electric vehicles need regular owner attention, but what can you do from home to help keep your car in good condition?

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The AA provides a list of routine car maintenance checks that motorists are advised to conduct, and they call it "FLOWER" which stands for "Fuel, Lights, Oil, Water, Electrics, Rubber". Poetry aside, they are a good place to start your vehicle health check.

F is for Fuel

This one is just a reminder to check how much fuel you have in the tank before each journey. Simple but easy to forget and it is expensive to run out in the wrong place.

L is for Lights

A bulb can burn out at any time, so unless you check them often, it is only a matter of time until you are pulled over by the police or fail your MOT. It isn't easy to check your own lights and even with help their alignment is difficult to assess, so an easier option is to book some free car safety checks at your local Protyre using our online garage finder.

O is for Oil

Oil checks take seconds and all you need is a rag. Check your dipstick when the engine is cold and top up with the oil recommended by your owner's manual. Also check its condition: oil usually lasts 3-10 thousand miles depending on the vehicle. Transmission and brake fluids need occasional checks too, but since these are more complicated, we recommend letting Protyre take care of them as part of an intermediate service.

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W is for Water

Fortunately, modern coolants are usually visible through the sides of their translucent reservoirs. Top up with a little water if necessary. Never forget your windscreen wiper bottle. You may not think it is important until you are caught on a busy road with a mud smeared windscreen and nowhere to pull over.

E is for Electrics

Check your cables and contacts are tight and undamaged, but your main maintenance concern is the battery. Longer journeys automatically charge your battery, but lots of short ones, in stop-go traffic, will drain it. Batteries last longer when they are kept fully charged so even if you rarely drive you should run the engine for a while each week to top it up. Most important, don't drain it by leaving the radio or lights on when stationary. A common mistake is leaving the doors open when you are spring cleaning the interior. Most batteries are good for 3-5 years.

R is for Rubber

Check your tyre pressures every couple of weeks and more often in hot weather or before and after a long journey. In our experience, maintaining optimum tyre pressures makes a big difference to the lifespan of the tyres, the fuel efficiency of the car, safe braking, road noise and passenger comfort. Also search each tyre for wear, tears or bulges, and never drive on a damaged tyre.

Talk to Protyre, the local garage you can trust

Tyre safety checks are free at Protyre garages where you will always find a wide choice of new tyres – including leading brands such as Bridgestone and Pirelli, mid-range choices from Falken and Sumitomo and plenty of good quality budget alternatives.
As well as FLOWER, Protyre recommend regular checks of your filters, serpentine belt, windshield wipers and a good wax to look after your bodywork.

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About the author

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By Julia Freeman
Julia is Head of Retail Marketing for Protyre and loves engaging with customers and the business as a whole to make sure Protyre is more than just a local garage.
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