Every minute one of your company cars is off the road is another minute of your precious time and money flushed down the drain.
There’s no doubt there are times when it’s far from avoidable, but the fact is with the proper maintenance and care you can keep your fleet on the move for longer.
By not allowing the health of your vehicle to be neglected, you’ll not only prevent any expensive repairs and prolong the life of your vehicles, but you’ll free up time to spend focusing on the things that really matter—like moving your business forward.
What’s more, you don't have to be a mechanic or car fanatic to know how to properly maintain your company vehicles. All you need to do it master a handful of basic checks and techniques.
So avoid the hard shoulder and the garage, and check out these simple engine maintenance tips to keep your company car fleet chugging along smoothly.
Check Your Oil Level
As the most important engine fluid, oil reduces friction and keeps everything nicely lubricated.
In order to do this, it needs to be at a steady level and free from contamination. If your oil is too low, dirty, or smells like gasoline, it needs changing.
Before getting started, make sure you’re parked on level ground and the engine is cool. Pop the bonnet and with a rag in hand, pull out the oil dipstick and wipe it clean.
Reinsert the dipstick so it’s properly seated in the dip tube, wait a moment, and remove it again to assess the oil. To add or change the oil, locate the screw-off cap—it could be blank or marked with something similar to “Oil Cap”—and add oil as needed.
Check Your Coolant Level
Checking the coolant level is an easy maintenance check that is crucial to the running of the engine. It essentially ensures the radiator has plenty of water and antifreeze to keep the engine at a low and stable temperature.
With a cool engine, find the coolant reservoir. Every engine is different so you may need to check your manual to help locate where it is. Look for a semitransparent bottle, normally bolted to one side of the engine bay or other.
You don’t need to take the radiator cap off to check coolant levels. If the coolant system is still hot, then it will be still under pressure and the pressure release will burn you. Instead, check on the outside and you should see high and low markers and the level of the coolant—it should land nicely between the two.
If the liquid is lower than the full line, top it up with a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze (some coolants are premixed so look on the bottle for instructions).
Check Your Accessory Belt
At the front of the engine there are a series of rubber belts and pulleys that drive everything from the alternator to the conditioning compressor and water pump.
Unfortunately, rubber wears—especially in the extreme conditions of the engine bay. And so it’s important to ensure the belts are not misaligned, glazed in oil, or damaged with cracks or chunks missing from them.
Depending on the car and type of engine, it could be difficult to see the accessory belt in the engine bay. You can still check if a belt is loose by having a friend accelerate while you listen out for squeaky noises, but if it is too obscured by cowling to see properly, have it checked when the vehicle goes in or service.
Like to never have to worry about a vehicle of your fleet breaking down? Find out more about emergency breakdown and recovery service or contact us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01480 414541.