A Birmingham Taxi Drivers Guide to Taxi Maintenance

As a taxi driver you will need to make sure that your vehicle passes a number of quality checks each year to be considered roadworthy. Not only is this important for you as the driver, but passengers will need to be kept safe when you’re taking them to their next destination. As you are providing a key public service, it is also a legal obligation on your part. If your taxi hasn’t met the specific standards set out by government legislation, you will not be allowed to transport passengers.

Carrying out regular maintenance checks on your vehicle will help you ensure that its ‘business as usual’. When it comes to renewing your taxi insurance policy, insurers will also ask you a number of questions regarding how well your vehicle is maintained. You can learn more about this and save money on your renewal at Utility Saving Expert. In this guide we’ll look at what should be on your car maintenance checklist, to help you pass all the necessary checks.

Seatbelts

Seatbelts are considered to be one of the most important pieces inside your vehicle to keep you and your passengers safe. It is important that you regularly check these to make sure that they are functioning correctly. To guarantee the seatbelt is secure, you should buckle and unbuckle the belt at the start and end of each shift. Additionally, you should also check if the seatbelt’s locking and retraction mechanism is still working correctly. To test the responsiveness, start pulling it slowly a few times, and then as fast as possible. If your taxi has ever been involved in an incident, it is highly recommended that your seatbelts should be replaced. Every now and then, it may also be a good idea to sit in the passenger seat of your vehicle with the seatbelt fastened so you can understand how comfortable your passengers are.

Mirrors

You will need to examine the inside rear-view mirror of your vehicle, as well as both the outside wing mirrors. Making sure these are in excellent condition will ensure you’re able to view everything in the distance correctly. Check that the mirrors have not become loose and stay affixed in the right position, also look to see if you can spot any cracks on them. If there are any faults or any of your taxi’s mirrors have become damaged over time, this could negatively affect the driver’s view, and can be extremely dangerous when out on the road. Checking and repairing these regularly will help you make sure that these are well maintained and in excellent working order.

Windows

Windows are another area that need to be considered to make your vehicle roadworthy. You will need to clean these regularly and check to see if they can be opened and closed properly, regardless of if you have to open them yourself manually, or automatically at the press of a button. Safety glass can help you protect your windows if you’re involved in an accident, as the glass will break into larger pieces instead of shattering into hundreds of smaller pieces.

Tyres

Make sure that your tyre pressure and width remains in the legal limit so you can safely transport your customers. This type of vehicle maintenance may seem very straightforward but it shouldn’t be missed, as there is a variation between different tyre conditions and how much of an impact these can make when driving on flat or uneven surfaces. Servicing your taxi regularly will allow you to keep an eye on the tyre pressure and threading. In addition to keeping everyone safe, you can also expect a far more comfortable journey, which is something your customers will come to appreciate.

Oil and brake fluid

The oil and brake fluid inside your vehicle will also need to be kept at the right levels for correct maintenance and safety assurance. Any time you open the car’s bonnet for a routine inspection, you should check the engine oil and brake fluid. Generally speaking, the majority of people will change this after 20,000 miles or after a two-year period. However, as a taxi driver, your vehicle will be under constant use, so checking this at regular intervals is a good idea.

Replace your brake fluid if it drops below a certain level or changes colour, it’s normally a dark brown colour. You can easily check the oil by turning the engine off and inserting a dipstick to see if it’s at the correct level. If you’re having any problems and unsure, speak to a specialist at your local car garage.

Lights

You will need to check to see if your headlights, rear lights, hazard lights and fog lights are all working correctly, especially when in use between the hours of sunset and sunrise. Garages can also assist you with replacing any lights that become faulty.

Regular car maintenance and carrying out any necessary repair work is of key importance to ensure your taxi is roadworthy. This will provide safety and comfort for both you and your passengers. Annual MOTs and car servicing will help you diagnose any potential problems before they occur and get you back on the road in no time.

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