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The problem with the millennial motorist

calendar Published on: Friday, 9th November 2018 | female icon Author: Aminta Gagnon

As a driver, there are a whole host of basic vehicle checks that you should probably know how to carry out. While itís essential that you take your car for yearly services and MOT tests, there are certain checks you can conduct yourself to keep your vehicle in good working order. But is the younger generation as savvy as it should be when it comes to car care? Letís take a look at the problem with the millennial motorist.

A generation lacking in basic car knowledge

In a recent study, nearly three-quarters of those in the millennial age bracket admitted to not knowing how to change a car tyre.The poll revealed that just 27 per cent of 18 to 23-year-olds knew how to swap out an old tyre for a new one. In comparison, half of those aged 36 and over said they felt confident carrying out this task, suggesting that Generation Y arenít as up to speed as other motorists when it comes to being self-sufficient at the roadside.

The problem goes further than knowing how to change a car tyre though. The survey also revealed that more than a third of millennials wouldnít know how to open the bonnet of a car, while 34 per cent didnít know what power steering was.

It was also found that four in 10 millennials would have difficulties knowing how to top up their screenwash levels, and that this generation is more likely to call someone to help them with their car.

So why is it that millennial-aged car owners appear so reluctant to get to grips with the basics of vehicle maintenance? The truth is, this younger generation has grown up with sophisticated technology, so it could be that they simply arenít used to having to figure this stuff out for themselves.

In the survey, it was revealed that when searching for information about car repairs, almost twice as many millennials are likely to consult YouTube, while older generations tended to prefer browsing a book for the answer.

Basic car maintenance tips everyone should know

Regardless of your age or how long youíve had your licence for, itís important that as a driver, you have an understanding of how to care for your vehicle properly. While you donít necessarily need to be an expert on the subject, getting to grips with a few of the basics will help ensure your car stays in good working order, keeping you safe when youíre out on the roads. Itíll also help you spot any potential car-related problems, allowing you to fix them as soon as possible.So, if you feel like you could do with brushing up on your car maintenance knowledge, check out these three basic tips...

1. Inspect your tyre tread depth

Your tyres play an important role in getting your car from A to B, so itís crucial that you inspect their tread depth regularly. This refers to the section of the tyre that makes contact with the road and the tyreís grooves. The law states that a tyre should have a tread depth of at least 1.6mm to ensure the car can grip the road properly. Without it, you could significantly increase your chances of being involved in an accident.

To check the tread depth of each tyre, you can use a tread depth gauge - a special tool that is able to accurately measure the tyre groove. You could also use the Ď20p testí. Simply slot a 20p into the groove and check if the outermost section of the coin is visible. If you cannot see it, itís likely your tyre is over the limit. If you can see it, it may be that the tyre needs replacing.

For more information about the importance of tyre tread, why not check out our blog post on the topic?

2. Check your engine oil levels

In order for your car to run smoothly, itís important that your engine oil levels are just right, so itís worth making an effort to check them regularly. The good news is, measuring your carís oil levels is easy. To get started, you should ensure that the engine is turned off and youíve given it time to cool down. Next, open up the bonnet and look for the dipstick, which is normally bright in colour. When youíve found it, pull it out and wipe of the excess oil with a cloth before pushing it back in. Pull it out again and look at the dipstick to see where the oil has stuck to. The stick should have markings on the side of it, helping you to establish if the levels are too low and need topping up.

3. Measure your tyre pressure

So that you can stay in control while youíre behind the wheel, itís important that each tyre is inflated to the right pressure. If one or more of your tyres is over or under inflated, you may find that the carís handling becomes unpredictable. This can be extremely dangerous, especially when youíre driving at high speeds, so itís important that you know how to measure the pressure in each tyre.

To do this, youíll need to be aware of the right pressure for your vehicleís tyres. You can usually find this information in your car manual or on a sticker on the inside of the driverís door. The pressure will be stated in pounds per inch (PSI) - this is the number each tyre should be inflated to.

You check the pressure in each individual tyre by using a digital tyre pressure gauge. This device will help you determine if you need to deflate or inflate any of your tyres.

Itís worth becoming familiar with some of the basic vehicle checks that you can carry out yourself. Itíll help you keep your car in good working order and bring any problems to your attention that you may need to get checked out by a professional.


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