Car maintenance tips

31 Mar 2021
Last Modified:
01 Apr 2021

No one likes breaking down, it’s important to maintain your car to help ensure it’s running in optimal condition. So, we’ve compiled some tips and advice, to help keep you moving. If you have broken down, please call us on 0207 247 4301 and one of our technicians will get out to you right away.

Tips to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape.

At a glance:

Tyres: Tyres are easily damaged. So make sure you check the condition and pressure of all your tyres. Inflate them if needed. Look out for cuts or bulges, which could slow damage to them.

Battery: To stop your battery from going flat, we advise charging it – by starting the engine and running it for 15 minutes once a week.

Brakes: If your car has not been driven for a while and parked up, the brakes can seize. While it’s running, move the car a short distance back and forth a few times – this should help keep the brakes in a healthy state.


We recommend you check your tyres, including the spare, every 2 weeks.

Keep an eye out for cuts, uneven wear and your tread is within legal limits.

What is the legal tyre tread depth?

Type of vehicleMinimum tread depth

Goods vehicles (<3,500kg)

Trailers and caravans (<3,500kg)
At least 1.6mm throughout a continuous band in the centre 3/4 of the tread and around the entire circumference of the tyre.
Most larger vehiclesAt least 1.0mm throughout a continuous band across at least 3/4 of the breadth of the tread and around the entire circumference. The original tread pattern must be visible in the remaining quarter.
Motorcycles 50cc and overAt least 1.0mm throughout a continuous band across at least 3/4 of the breadth of the tread and around the entire circumference. The original tread pattern must be visible in the remaining quarter.
Mopeds and motorcycles under 50ccThe original tread pattern must be visible.

If you have a flat tyre, your VH membership benefits include us coming out to you for a tyre change. So give us a call on 0207 247 4301 and one of our technicians will come out right away.

  • Increase your tyre pressure if you’ve got a heavy load – you can find the levels are in your handbook.
  • Replace your tyres when the tread gets low – worn tyres are more likely to get a puncture.
  • Do not drive over, corners and kerbs. Drive around them. The sides of your tyres are easy to damage.
  • Get your alignment or ‘tracking’ checked to make sure your vehicle drives in a straight line. This is to make sure the handling is in a healthy state.
Maintaining your car well helps reduce the risk of breakdowns


Some of the most common causes of a flat battery are:

  • Leaving the lights on after turning your engine off.
  • Not correctly switching off the vehicle’s on-board system.

Make sure you don’t forget to switch everything off as you leave your vehicle. 

If possible, keep a pair of jump leads in your vehicle, just in case you need to recharge from another vehicle. If you need help using the jump leads or with the jump start itself, give us a call on 0207 247 4301. Your VH Membership will include a jump start at your home, so we’ll come out and get you up and running.

Vehicle batteries tend to have a guarantee of 3-5 years, so if your battery is getting old – you can always replace it with a new one before it lets you down.

Keep an eye out for visitors

Small rodents and insects can be attracted to a vehicle’s engine bays. It’s worth having a look around to see if you’ve got any unwanted visitors – especially if you haven’t driven your vehicle in a while.

This might also be a good time to clear out any leaves and debris that may have accumulated over time.

Any tips for electric cars?

Electric cars are the same as petrol and diesel cars. They all share tyres, brakes, suspension and electrical systems. The difference is the high voltage system.

Plug your vehicle in regularly, at least once a month – if you’re not driving. This will help maintain all systems. Refer to your vehicle handbook for specific instructions.

If you need to renew or upgrade your membership please call 0207 247 4301.

If you’ve broken down and require assistance call us on 0207 247 4301.

We’re here to help – whenever you need us. Call us 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Landline calls cost standard UK rate. Calls from mobiles vary.


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