A new survey by the Driving Standards Agency – the government body responsible for driving tests – has found that 13% of test candidates don’t know how to check the oil on their car. The result is that the fail the “show me, tell me” section of the practical driving test – although this doesn’t automatically result in a test fail.
Checking the oil is about as simple a task as you can imagine – but a great many drivers never do it. I think that one of the problems (apart from laziness) is that cars are sold as requiring no maintenance between services. Indeed, many of them don’t – unless something goes wrong.
The point is that quick, simple checks like checking your oil and water are an effective way of alerting you to any problems with your car – such as leaks. By catching these early, the cost of fixing them and the damage they cause can be minimised.
Failing to notice an oil leak, on the other hand, can result in your engine running out of oil and seizing up – costing you a new engine (£’000s)…
Note: It’s not just learner drivers who don’t know how to take care of their vehicles, either. Just after I hit the publish button on this article, a press release from the RAC popped into my inbox, claiming that more than 13,500 day’s vehicle downtime are caused every year by fleet drivers failing to take proper care of their vehicles.
The RAC’s top 20 callout reasons include being unable to change a wheel, damaged tyres, flat batteries, misfuelling and, bizarrely, in sixth place, ‘no fault found’.