It’s important to regularly check your vehicle to ensure it’s safe and in tip-top shape. Here are some simple vehicle checks you can easily perform yourself at home.

Vehicle safety checks you can do at home

If you’re like most drivers, then you’d take your vehicle to the mechanic for regular servicing. But in between the time that you don’t, there are ways to reduce the risks of breakdowns and accidents by performing routine safety checks on your car. Stay on top of your car’s condition with these simple maintenance tips you can do yourself at home.


No driver wants to be stranded with a flat tyre, but always ensure you have a spare tyre in your boot in case you do ever find yourself in this situation. It’s important to make sure your tyres are keeping you safe on the roads by checking air pressure. The wrong tyre pressure can result in premature wear and uneven tread.

At most service and petrol stations around Australia you’ll find air pumps which will tell you how to check the air pressure. If it’s too high, you can release the valve to let out air, and if too low you’ll be able to add more air. Alternatively, you can usually find your tyres’ recommended level marked on the outside of the tyre. And don’t forget to always be on the lookout for any nails, tears, or other damage that may need immediate attention.

And of course, it’s important to keep an eye on your tyre tread. Worn or bald tyres mean you won’t get enough grip on the road, which in turn can affect your braking time.


To maintain a healthy engine, it’s essential to ensure you have the right amount of oil. You can easily check your oil by popping open the engine hood of your car. Simply park it on a level surface and wait for the oil to settle for a few moments. Remove the dipstick and wipe this clean with a cloth, then replace it back in the pipe. Remove it once again and you’ll see where the oil level is up to. If it’s between the two markings you’re in the clear, and if not, you’ll be able to simply top up the oil.

Your vehicle’s cooling system is another crucial element that protects your engine from overheating. Coolant is the substance used to absorb the heat, but if you don’t have the correct amount of it, you could be causing permanent damage to your engine. Always make sure there’s a sufficient amount of coolant in the cooling system.

While you’re under the bonnet, don’t forget to take a look at the water levels and check the garage floor for fluid markings, as this can be an indicator of problems that need a closer look.

Seat belts

Seat belts are there to help protect you and are designed to hold you safely in place in case of an accident. Check seat belts for general wear and tear, weathering from the sun, and for damage which can cause them to become loose or weak. Give them a good tug to ensure they’re resisting and in working order and if they’re not get them replaced.


Lights ensure you’re visible on the roads and provide you with the same visibility of others. Check your exterior lights are working by turning them on and watching for a reflection on the garage walls. You can also ask someone else to have a walk around the vehicle while you have your lights on, checking your rear and front lights as well as your brakes.

The extras

Your car’s an investment. Whether you’re planning on selling it, trading it in, or keeping it forever, it pays to keep it looking its very best. Tree sap, bird droppings, and other muck can wreak havoc on your paint job, so take extra care of it by keeping it clean and giving it additional checks. These include inspecting your wipers to make sure they work effectively, testing your horn, checking for cracks to your glass and mirrors, and pulling your handbrake on a steep hill to make sure it’ll work in an emergency.

Other car issues will of course need a mechanic, however the above are easy to check on your own and can save you time and money in the long run.

Protect your vehicle by making sure you have comprehensive car insurance. For more information, visit our motor vehicle insurance page.

Horizon Bank has a branch network spanning the NSW South Coast and Illawarra. Horizon Bank branch locations: Albion Park, Bega, Bermagui, Berry, Merimbula, Moruya, Nowra, Thirroul, Ulladulla & Wollongong.

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