What should be on your vehicle maintenance checklist?

Written by: Simon Pavey, Last updated:14th February 2022

Mechanic with clipboard inspecting a vehicle's engine

Keeping on top of the maintenance of your vehicles should be a top priority for all owners and operators. Failing to spot the early signs of wear and tear or any potential issues can prove highly costly in the long run.

As a result, fleet operators should have a checklist of all the common issues that can arise with their vehicles, and they should be taking the time to go through this list of essential checks with drivers and those who look after the wellbeing of their fleet.

What should your checklist include?

Key to keeping your vehicles in prime condition is the acronym FLOWER, which stands for:

  • Fuel: Always ensure you have sufficient fuel to complete your journeys, or factor in pit stops to fill up on the way. Running out of fuel – or putting the wrong type of fuel into an engine – can cause serious and sometimes irreversible damage.
  • Lights: All lights should illuminate correctly to ensure proper visibility both for the driver and for other road users. Check that headlights work and are correctly positioned, while reversing lights and signals must also be fully functional.
  • Oil: Failure to maintain the proper oil level in the engine can cause considerable damage, so check this regularly. The average car will consume up to one litre of oil for every 1,000 miles travelled, so always keep an eye on it.
  • Water: Cooling is important to ensure your engine does not overheat, so top up water levels often. If you notice that the level drops fairly rapidly after filling, this could be a sign of a leak and should be investigated further.
  • Electrics: Battery issues are the number one cause of breakdowns in the UK, so check it regularly to ensure it is in good working order and charging properly. Flat batteries can be a real headache for drivers, so it pays to carry a set of jump leads in your vehicle at all times.
  • Rubber: Your vehicle’s tyres are one of the most important parts of the vehicle. They provide all the grip your vehicle has for handling, braking and staying under the driver’s control. As such, check them regularly for signs of wear and tear, ensuring the tyre tread depth is above the legal minimum of 1.6 mm.

How often should you be carrying out checks?

Our best advice is to ensure regular maintenance checks are carried out on every vehicle within your fleet and this means assessing things like the state of tyres, that all lights are functioning correctly and that water/fluid levels are topped up every time you take a journey.

That said, fleet operators should be carrying out a more in-depth service of their vehicles in line with their manufacturer’s recommendations. In most cases, this equates to around every 12,000 miles or once a year, although there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to vehicle servicing.

A good rule of thumb is to keep an up-to-date log of all vehicle mileage; the more miles they cover, the more often they will need to be serviced.

At MyService.Expert, we offer access to a nationwide network of garages and mechanics who are highly skilled in spotting the early signs of wear and tear and who can make all the difference in prolonging the longevity of your vehicles’ wellbeing.

Sign up to our service and you’ll also enjoy fantastic savings on parts and labour, making the upkeep of your fleet that much more affordable in the long-term.