AA Uploads Podcasts

Video guides to basic car checks

an AA patrol working under a car bonnet at night

With around 18 million cars expected on UK roads this Easter weekend, the AA warns that 70% of motorists risk unnecessary breakdowns due to a lack of simple maintenance checks. Research by the AA reveals that one in ten motorists are unable to make simple car care checks at all, while over two-thirds (68%) aren't making these key inspections regularly enough.

To tackle this, the UK's largest motoring organisation has created a series of Podcasts . The clips feature experienced AA patrols demonstrating simple car care procedures and are available on the AA website from 5th April 2007 – just in time for the Easter getaway.

This will be welcome news to eight out of ten (81 per cent) motorists who say they would undertake simple maintenance checks if only someone would show them how to do it. The key check that one in five motorists (20 per cent) doesn't know how to perform is checking their vehicle's coolant level. A further one in ten don't know how to check their car's tyre pressures (11 per cent), oil level (10 per cent) or lights (10 per cent).

The research also showed that many motorists who are able to perform these checks are not doing so as often as recommended. Seventy per cent are not checking their vehicle's coolant frequently enough – this alone related to nearly 13,000 AA call-outs in 2006. Furthermore, over two-thirds (67 per cent) are not checking oil levels regularly, resulting in over 12,500 call outs last year.

Commenting on the initiative David Macintyre, AA Patrol of the Year and one of the AA podcast stars comments: "There's been many an occasion when a driver has told me that they'd have gladly performed a check if only someone had shown them how to do it – that's why the podcasts are such a great idea.

"While it was fun to star in, there is a serious message: we always advise drivers to make careful preparations before setting out on a car journey and that includes checking things like your car's coolant and oil levels, tyre tread and pressures. Thankfully the AA has more patrols on the road than any other breakdown service – so if you do forget any of these essentials we can be on hand to help."

The podcasts are presented by AA patrols voted for by readers of AutoExpress.co.uk. The podcasts available to view include:

  • How to change a wheel
  • How to check oil level
  • How to check coolant
  • How to check windscreen wipers
  • How to pack a vehicle safely
  • Preparing for a journey
  • Driving in Europe

Notes to Editors

ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 742 motorists by telephone between 21st and 22nd March 2007. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at www.icmresearch.co.uk.


02 April 2007