Quiz: How should you look after your car?

You should regularly check the oil level in your engine (Picture iStock/Moyo Studio)

One in 10 UK drivers say they never perform any kind of safety check on their vehicle. And 14 million licence holders check their cars once a year or less. Those are the shocking findings following some recent research by Green Flag and road safety charity Brake.

If you want to test your knowledge of car maintenance, why not try our quiz? It’s fun and it’ll help give some tips and pointers for what you should do to keep your car in top shape.


Well done. You certainly seem to know your car and how to look after it.

Hmmm. These are all basic jobs and you should be carrying them out on a regular basis. We have plenty of helpful tips and expert advice on Green Flag Blog.

#1. What is the minimum legal tread depth for a car tyre?

You need to check up on your Highway Code. The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm although some car makers suggest changing tyres at 3mm.

#2. Your headlight has a cracked lens. You should…

A cracked headlight lens is an MOT failure point and it might even result in water getting into the delicate electrics of your car. You should replace it.

#3. How often should you change your car's windscreen wipers?

Windscreen wipers have a life span like many other moving parts of the car. It’s safest to change them before they wear out which means swapping them roughly every two years.

#4. Which of these statements about engine oil is false?

Engine oil is the lifeblood of an engine and it’s vital to check it on a regular basis as low oil can shorten an engine’s lifespan.

#5. How often should you check your tyres?

Experts from tyre companies recommend you check your tyres’ pressure and tread depth once a fortnight.

#6. Where will you find the reservoir for the brake system?

The reservoir for the brakes is found in the engine bay. It shouldn’t need topping up but it’s advisable to check the level of fluid in it just in case.

#7. When topping up your car’s coolant, which most accurately describes what you should use?

If it’s an emergency you can use water but you should really test the concentration of the anti-freeze in the system before filling it accordingly. Anti-freeze that is too diluted won’t work properly in cold weather.

#8. If the red oil warning light pops up on your instrument panel while you're driving you should…

You should stop immediately. That light only appears if your engine doesn’t have sufficient oil or the oil isn’t getting to where it should in the engine. Continuing to drive can cause significant, possibly permanent damage.

#9. Do you need to check how much fluid is in your engine’s coolant system?

It’s true that engine coolant systems are sealed but coolant can still leak out so it’s worth checking.

#10. What do you do when your engine needs oil?

Having too much oil is almost as dangerous for an engine as having too little. So pour in a little at a time, measuring it on the dipstick to know when it’s full enough. And remember it can take a little bit of time for the oil to make its way down the filler pipe into where the dipstick measures it.


94 comments on “Quiz: How should you look after your car?

  1. John Hutchison 24/09/2020 7:37 PM

    misunderstood question 4, Thought it was no oil on dipstick, whereupon I would top up.

  2. Keith Hewitt 09/10/2020 8:15 PM

    Your answer to question 4 is wrong I believe. The middle answer is your stated correct response but this does not agree with the guide statement which matches the third answer.

  3. Geoffrey Stockton 09/10/2020 8:23 PM

    Enjoyed doing the quiz happy with the result not bad for a 70yr old

  4. Michael 09/10/2020 8:33 PM

    That tells me!

  5. Richard Turner 09/10/2020 8:55 PM

    Good game should be done a lot more

  6. freddy 09/10/2020 9:03 PM

    Engine oil is the lifeblood of an engine and it’s vital to check it on a regular basis as low oil can shorten an engine’s lifespan.
    i put this.but you say its wrong.WHY?

    Oil helps an engine run smoothly. But it’s not a necessity
    why do you say that this is the right answer?

  7. Kev 09/10/2020 9:03 PM

    To stop driving immediately just because a warning light comes on is a dangerous manuvere, only stop when it is safe to do so.

    Engine oil lubricates and cools an engine and therefore reduces wear and tear, it does not allow the engine to run smoothly.

  8. Mrs L Bateup 09/10/2020 9:06 PM

    Informative quiz. The regular newsletter is a great idea.

  9. Robert Hugh Stevenson 09/10/2020 9:21 PM

    Eye opening

  10. Robert Hugh Stevenson 09/10/2020 9:26 PM

    As an integral part of family life your car’s care and safety are more importamt than your wallet.

  11. RAYMOND COUCH 09/10/2020 10:14 PM

    You haven’t a clue

  12. Robert Pope 09/10/2020 10:29 PM

    Most modern cars now tell you if any of your tyre pressure are low.

  13. Zara Jan 09/10/2020 11:03 PM

    I believe that if you drive you should know all the basics about the safe running of your vehicle.

  14. Dawn 10/10/2020 12:32 AM

    I work in a Petrol station when I was young feeling people cars. They also a a work shop for cars so I just I learnt the basics. So pleased I did the question as I have learnt a bit more about how to
    Look after my car. Many thanks

  15. George Herron. 10/10/2020 8:18 AM

    Thank you it has opened my eyes so helpfull keep it up once again thank you

  16. Benoy 10/10/2020 10:16 AM

    Very good quiz. Used to be a mechanic but it was 60 years ago

  17. Gillian Mahdi 10/10/2020 11:38 AM

    Useful tips for ladies

  18. Eric Davies 10/10/2020 8:17 PM

    Answer 7 would have been ready mixed Anti freeze.
    Answer 8, had the experience of oil light coming on while driving. Checked the oil level, all ok. Then drove it to a garage to have the oil changed and the service interval re-set.

  19. Kevin Flowers 10/10/2020 8:18 PM

    Great little test thanks.

  20. BOLA 10/10/2020 8:29 PM

    That’s a good knowledge check.

  21. Kevin Southwell 10/10/2020 9:00 PM

    Really good quiz will done

  22. soo roch 10/10/2020 9:05 PM

    did fairly well !!

  23. John Dalby 10/10/2020 9:26 PM

    All the time – I was wrong on question 1 but in the right direction- I check my tyres every month – and oil level – I try to be the good motorist

  24. Thomas Hedley 10/10/2020 9:42 PM

    Don`t agree with question 4 answer, oil is essential for the engine, no oil and the engine will seize up

  25. Ann Murdoch 10/10/2020 9:54 PM

    8/10 no bad but should have been better.

  26. Steve Naylor 10/10/2020 11:49 PM

    A car will break down when you least expect it. By checking it regularly you can cut down the odds considerably.

  27. Jane Ellis 11/10/2020 6:20 AM

    Good little quiz !

  28. sylvia howard 11/10/2020 7:37 AM

    I am 82 years old so leave MOST of the jobs to my mechanic.

  29. Alison Nix 11/10/2020 8:33 AM

    9 out of 10,good quiz

  30. Dave Taylor 11/10/2020 8:34 AM

    I mis-read #4 or would have got 9/10

  31. R Mc g 11/10/2020 9:01 AM

    I didn’t do bad nothing too serious

  32. John Bowman 11/10/2020 11:08 AM

    So if your car fails the MOT on its wiper blades don’t replace them

  33. Ronald 11/10/2020 11:48 AM

    This keeps you informed on the things you should check regularly

  34. KEVIN 11/10/2020 12:38 PM

    Good test got 8/10 not too bad

  35. maureen martin 11/10/2020 1:27 PM

    did worse than I thought, but I will remember where I went wrong

  36. robbo 11/10/2020 3:27 PM

    9/10 most were common sense

  37. Josephine Philpott 11/10/2020 8:03 PM

    I’m a woman and I got 9out 10 . Good quix

  38. Linda underdown 11/10/2020 8:07 PM

    Enjoyable quiz and will show people what they need to know

  39. Mike phillips 11/10/2020 8:11 PM

    Read 1 question wrongly, otherwise 100%

  40. John Williams 11/10/2020 8:13 PM

    9 out 10 did pretty well

  41. Brian 11/10/2020 8:16 PM

    I’m pleased with my result only one question wrong happy days

  42. Joan Wood 11/10/2020 8:29 PM

    Disappointed that I didn’t do better.

  43. Paul Carnall 11/10/2020 8:35 PM

    TBH Only thing I have to check on mine is screenwash. The TPMS SYSTEM checks my tyres. Advantages of having an electric car.

  44. Lesley Powell 11/10/2020 8:39 PM

    Good quiz. I did better than I thought, but I’ll remember the 3 I got wrong!!

  45. Betty 11/10/2020 8:49 PM

    Interesting now I know did not do too bad

  46. Alan Crist 11/10/2020 9:00 PM

    Did really well but I thought I would

  47. Roger Galloway 11/10/2020 9:18 PM

    Learnt things I did not know

  48. Trevor Holliday 11/10/2020 9:34 PM

    Wouldn’t tell me how I did!!

  49. Rupert 11/10/2020 9:46 PM

    ‘It depends’ is not an answer to any question

  50. Bob Harrison 11/10/2020 9:49 PM

    Do you really believe that your engine will not eventually grind to a halt without oil
    Tell that to my bank manager

    • Mike Smith 12/10/2020 5:05 PM

      I think you may like myself have miss read the question?? IE which of the statements was FALSE. answers one and three will ruin an engine but oil is a necessity. It was only when i re read the question i realised my mistake . OPS

    • stephenkeith0804 13/10/2020 1:01 AM

      I agree. I let a car run out of oil once (many years ago!) – new engine jobbie as I remember.

  51. ian gorman 11/10/2020 10:01 PM

    Just my full service on it so all ok but Quiz was helpful

  52. Douglas pirie 11/10/2020 10:50 PM

    Good quiz

  53. Mike 12/10/2020 12:08 AM

    Engine oil not only for smooth running but also is essential for cooling.

  54. Chris Gray 12/10/2020 5:55 AM

    The ones I got wrong will help me to remember what to do in future

  55. Lesley 12/10/2020 7:23 AM

    Hmm 6/10, must try harder…..

  56. Mandy Woods 12/10/2020 8:29 AM

    I did well just 4 wrong

  57. Catherine Weir 12/10/2020 8:32 AM

    Good quiz, 7/10 – didn’t realise the legal depth on a tyre was only 1.6mm.

  58. Ian Rae 12/10/2020 9:21 AM

    Good wee quiz

  59. RICHARD STAMPER 12/10/2020 9:27 AM

    I don’t agree with the antifreeze thing – most modern antifreezes do not use water. If you top up with water only then you are diluting the mixture.

    • Magic Kipper 13/10/2020 9:49 AM

      I don’t agree either. It is better to have coolant with a high concentration of antifreeze than one that is too low. And since it is impossible to tell how much antifreeze is in your coolant when it is in the engine, the best policy is to always top-up with antifreeze rather than water.

    • Keith Lloyd 13/10/2020 11:04 AM

      Don’t get upset guy’s, there are so many factors regarding dilution, type of antifreeze and time of season, that the Correct Answer had to be, and indeed was …. ‘IT DEPENDS’ ….

  60. Linda underdown 12/10/2020 9:38 AM

    I must admit I have not topped it up myself for years as it is done every time it is serviced. So when I used to do the self was years ago when you can get two star petrol lol

  61. Mick 12/10/2020 10:11 AM

    Yes i DON’T agree with antifreeze one you can’t have to much antifreeze.

  62. elenora 12/10/2020 11:09 AM

    Got more right than thought its down to commonsense

  63. Stuart cameron 12/10/2020 1:13 PM

    Learned something today, thank you

  64. Simon Flower 12/10/2020 4:44 PM

    I always check my oil, water in engine coolant level and washer tank, tyre pressure’s every week or when I think I need to.

  65. Peter Hopcroft 12/10/2020 4:46 PM

    Good quiz happy to get 9

  66. PeterHopcroft 12/10/2020 4:47 PM

    Good quiz happy to get 9

  67. Louise Bridgman 12/10/2020 4:55 PM

    I disagree with the 2 I was marked down on..I will keep doing it my way thanks

  68. Rags Poduval 12/10/2020 7:01 PM

    Got 5 out of 10 and just like my old school reports, can do better. Did not realise the thing about tyres

  69. Mrs Adele Law 12/10/2020 8:26 PM

    This helped me alot I don’t know much about cars i just put petrol in and drive. Thanks greenflag x

  70. Payne 12/10/2020 8:58 PM

    Just Anti Freeze is right answer.

  71. anthony.nichols 12/10/2020 9:02 PM

    I agree with richard stamper i top up with coolent, which is of course ready diluted antifreeze. I am a driver with many years experience the quiz is mostly common sense. if you do not look after your car it will not look after you.

  72. Murph 12/10/2020 9:14 PM

    Basic if you’ve ever driven for a living

  73. MICHAEL KENNY 12/10/2020 9:19 PM

    A reminder doesn’t harm

  74. Alan 12/10/2020 9:46 PM

    Got antifreeze wrong. Most antifreeze nowadays comes already made up.

  75. Angus Drew 12/10/2020 11:04 PM

    Great quiz

  76. Diane Dacre 13/10/2020 7:48 AM

    7 out 10
    Good q

  77. Gordon Dunn 13/10/2020 9:21 AM

    Good quiz, got 2 wrong, but makes you think!!

  78. Angela Revis 13/10/2020 9:55 AM

    How do I get my marks?

  79. Frederick John White 13/10/2020 10:15 AM

    I agree with Richard Stamper I only use the orange anti freeze, never put just water in.

  80. Dave Hurt 13/10/2020 11:45 AM

    ‘it depends’ isn’t an answer! ‘water’ isn’t an answer because people will think tap water! So I top up with anti freeze (apparently I got that wrong)

  81. Roger Bourne 13/10/2020 1:13 PM

    ‘Didn’t say how many I got right so I assume all of them !

  82. david stephenson 13/10/2020 1:15 PM


  83. Eve Cole. 13/10/2020 10:02 PM

    Whoops, Thank goodness for my garage chaps who keep an eye on my car for me! now Im in GreenFlag, Im really in Good hands!

  84. Jan Pearce 14/10/2020 12:48 PM

    I would put anti freeze of the type recommended by the manufacturer.
    Difficult to stop driving if on motor way. especially smart sorry dumb ones !

  85. Josephine Mangan 14/10/2020 6:33 PM

    One of the questions I read it the wrong way round, it was the identify the false statement, and I didn’t read it right, I was saying how important it would be not to have sufficient Oil in the car. So I need to check my tyres fortnightly not monthly, and stop when the red oil warning light pops up.
    Good to be reminded.

  86. Gerald Bridges 14/10/2020 6:36 PM

    Some times wipers don’t even last two years, especially after a bad winter.

  87. John 16/10/2020 10:55 PM

    good little quiz, got them all right. Must see how my wife gets on

  88. Gizmo 17/10/2020 6:16 PM

    I stopped the car when the oil light came on & phoned Fords, they told me to drive it to a garage!

  89. Philip Pybus 21/10/2020 10:10 AM

    Did worse than thought. But with CV difficult getting service booked. Then wipers cleaned and good after two years. Anti freeze changed when bought car. -25 on MOT So looks good

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