The UK has a long-standing love affair with motoring, and has even created some of the most iconic car brands to grace our memory! With this in mind on Valentine’s Day, Trust My Garage has put together some advice on how you can show your vehicle you care – read on to discover more!
Check your lights and levels
Before setting off on any journey, show your motor some love by checking your lights and levels! By either checking yourself or asking a friend or family member to walk around the vehicle, you can test all your lights to ensure they are clear and functioning correctly.
You should also regularly check your oil, screen wash and engine coolant levels at regular intervals – at least once a month depending on the age of your vehicle. If you aren’t sure of how to inspect your vehicle properly, you can always ask a local, trusted garage to see if or what levels and lights need topping up or replacing.
If you notice a fault with your vehicle, such as a cracked windscreen, dim headlight, or poorly charged battery, it’s important to get it sorted before undertaking any driving. If you feel there is a fault but aren’t sure how to proceed, you can always take your vehicle to a local garage to have it looked at by a professional – you can even use Trust My Garage’s Find a Garage map to locate your nearest Trust My Garage member!
Check your brakes and tyres
Brakes are an essential part of any car and therefore should be regularly checked and well maintained. So, how can you tell your brakes are in tip top condition?
It’s a case of making sure you have them checked regularly. An easy way to test your brakes is by driving at a slow speed in an area or road with no traffic, and gently applying pressure.
Listen out for warning signs, as brakes will let you know when there is a problem – whether this is through grinding or squeaking. Sometimes your car will act like it has a mind of its own and pull you to one side while driving, which could indicate a fault or imbalance with the braking system. Vibrations and temperamental pedals are also a sign you need to take give your car some attention – so look out for the signs and don’t ignore them.
As well as this, don’t disregard any warning lights that may appear on your dashboard! If you are unsure of their meaning either consult your Owner’s Manual or visit your local Trust My Garage member, who will be able to advise of any issues with your car.
Checking your vehicle’s tyre pressure is easier than you might think! You can check and correct your tyre pressure at most UK petrol stations using a pay-per-use air and water station, or you can purchase your own tyre pressure gauge – the choice is yours.
If you aren’t sure what pressure is correct for your vehicle’s tyres you can refer to your Owner’s Manual. Details should be provided in either/both BAR and PSI, and you can adjust your pressures to the recommended figure. Often a vehicle’s tyre pressure information is also provided on the interior frame of the front passenger door, so be sure to check there if you need a quick reference point as well.
Don’t forget to check all your tyres’ tread depths too. The legal limit for minimum tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters, however it is recommended to keep your tyres at 3mm or above for optimum grip. Drivers who fail to comply with the regulations face a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre.
The ‘20p test’ is a quick way to check the tread depth. Place a 20p coin into the main tread grooves at three points across the tyre and then repeat around its circumference. If the outer band is visible, the tyres may be unsafe or illegal and need to be checked by a professional garage or tyre specialist.
Give your motor a name!
According to research by the DVLA, over a quarter of motorists have given their vehicle an affectionate name – with women being twice as likely as men! 87% of respondents to the survey also said they had bought a personalised registration to match the name they give to their car too. Geographically, the largest proportion of those who said they named their car came from the East Midlands (28%), and the smallest from Northern Ireland (1%).
It may seem silly, but there are even trends of popular names; ‘Doris’, ‘Dave’, ‘Henry’, ‘Betsy’ and ‘Bumble’ were all top choices. DVLA Personalised Registrations sales manager Jody Davies said: “It’s no surprise to find that people want to say something about their car in this way – whether the name is something personal to them or a bit of fun that they want to share with others.”
More about Trust My Garage
If you’re in need of a local garage operating to the highest standards, Trust My Garage can help. With over 3090 members across the UK, you’re never far away from a TMG member. We’ve even created a handy search function so you can locate your nearest TMG-approved garage with ease!
Simply visit TrustMyGarage.co.uk and pop in your postcode, and our ‘Find a Garage’ map will show you all the TMG members in your area! You can even read reviews from other customers if you’re unsure which garage is right for your needs. Try it out here:
If you’re looking for more information about Trust My Garage, you can head over to our website, TrustMyGarage.co.uk. We’re also on social media, so check out our Facebook and Twitter profiles to get the latest motoring news and updates straight into your social feeds – and you can even check out our latest TV advert below!
Got a handy top tip help show your vehicle some love? Make sure to leave it in the comment section below!
February 14th will see Cupid’s arrow firing around the UK as romantics devote time to their better halves, supplying them with gifts, affection and…valeting? Valentine’s Day is all about showing your loved one how much you care, and why shouldn’t that stretch to your trusted vehicle?
Whilst it might be natural to sometimes take your car for granted, Valentine’s Day will give you the chance to show it the TLC it well and truly deserves ❤
Make it feel beautiful on the outside…
You want both your car’s bodywork and your pride to be absolutely gleaming, whether you’re travelling around together or it’s parked up snugly on your driveway. It simply won’t do to allow your car to look dirty and grubby, with month-old mud still caked on the rear bumper. Treat your car to a steamy day at your local car wash, pampering and massaging it until it looks as young as the day you first met. If you’re really trying to impress it then you can even book it in for a hot wax and valeting service.
…but remember that it’s all about what’s on the inside
Looking beautiful on the outside is undoubtedly important, but it’s really just all for show, isn’t it? The most important thing is what’s on the inside; the beauty that you’ll both share only when you’re together. Ahead of Valentine’s Day spend a good few hours making sure the interior of your car is spick and span, hovering, scrubbing, dusting and chucking out all those empty drinks bottles and fast food takeaway bags. To really spice things up you can even buy a brand new air freshener or some new mats. Racy.
Reignite your spark
Do you remember the early days between you and your car? Those long, romantic drives, free from the stresses of the world? Since then you might’ve found those experiences become few and far between, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reignite that spark! Dedicate a few hours to your car and just drive. Maybe try out one of these glorious roads as you spend some much needed quality time with your better half. You’ll come back once again well and truly smitten with your car.
Take care of it by checking for problems
Show your car how much you care for it by spending a bit of time checking it out for problems, such as low tyre pressure, tread and overall condition. Be sure to check the fluid levels, including oil, water and anti-freeze, to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible.
This might all sound very obvious but in a survey we recently conducted we found that a whopping 84% of motorists failed to carry out these sort of checks. You might hit a rough patch in the future, that’s only natural with relationships, and there will be times when things will be emotionally hard for both of you – prepare for this by regularly checking your car’s wipers.
Take it out on a romantic date to a local Trust My Garage member
The ultimate gift for your loved one. Send your car to a spa day at a local Trust My Garage member and let it receive the full works in the way of a servicing. Whilst you can carry out a number of checks yourself, as mentioned above, you need to regularly put your car into the hands of professionals. You might be hesitant to part with your loving car but you know what they say – absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Show your car some Valentine’s Day love by booking a service at your local independent garage. Visit the Trust My Garage website and insert your postcode into our garage finder.