Advice Corner

10 Things every driver should know

For a car to function well it needs to be taken care of. This is why people call their cars “babies” because they need to be taken care of like kids. There are certain things one needs to know and monitor to ensure that they don’t end up stuck with a break down on the side of the road.

1. How to change a tyre

female changing a tyre

Should you get a flat tyre in an unsafe place, you don’t want to stand around looking or waiting for help. This one is especially for the ladies; make sure you master this art for your own safety. No more excuses.

2. How to jump start

jumper cables

Look through your manual for instructions on how to jump start your car. Always have jumper cables in the boot of your car.

3. The dash board symbols

dash board symbols

Learn all the symbols on your dash board so that when something goes wrong you know what to have repaired. Most mechanics could take advantage of your ignorance and you could end up paying more than necessary.

4. Your tyre pressure

Check your tire pressure

Too much air in the tire could cause the tyre to burst or affect the wear of the tyre. Check them at least once a week or every time you fuel up at the petrol station.

5. How to check your oil and water

car chek-up

Learn how to check your water level and oil level to avoid your engine overheating because of the lack of water or it ceasing because it doesn’t have oil. If you don’t do it yourself, have a petrol attendant look at it at the petrol station.

6. Know when to use your hooter


Only use your hooter if necessary. It should be used to warn other drivers and pedestrians and not to take out your frustrations in traffic.

7. Know your disk expiry date

car licence

All cars driving on South African roads need to have a licence disk to serve as a registration. It is renewed yearly at your local traffic licensing department.

8. Know when to use the right lighting


Switch on your light 30 min before sun set. Other countries encourage driving with your lights on for visibility. Only use your bright light if there are no cars coming towards your direction or in front of you. Use your parking lights when parked on the side of the road.

9. When your service is due

car service

If your car does not have an automatic function that tells you when your car is due for service. If not, you can do it according to the mileage on your dash board.

10. Know what to do when you have a break down

break down

Park on the side of the road as far away from traffic as possible. Put a triangle 10 meters away from your car so that other cars are aware of you. Call for help.

Mbali Radebe

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