Mazda 3: Fighting fit

  • We give our Mazda 3 long termer a thorough check up
  • Always keep an eye on fluid levels and tyre pressures
  • We get the car ready for a trip the Peak District

After bringing the Mazda 3 back to life with jump leads after the battery went flat (totally my fault) and a tyre pressure warning flashing up on the dashboard, it was definitely time to give our long termer a proper healthcheck.

The first job on my list was to head to Morrisons to check the tyre pressures. Most of the time you can find the correct pressures for your tyres in the manual, in our Mazda's case there was a sticker inside the driver door with all the information.

Maintaining these pressure is not only important for safety reasons but also to keep your car running at the optimum fuel economy, cars with under-inflated tyres have increased rolling resistance that require more fuel to maintain the same speed.

Sometimes tyres have different pressures for the front and rear too which was the case for our Mazda 3; 37psi for the front and 35psi for the rear.

Once the tyres were inflated to the correct pressure (the front left was particularly low) I also checked the tread depth using a 20p piece. If after inserting the 20p the outer band of the coin is still visible then the tyre may not have sufficient depth and should be checked and possibly replace. The tread depth on our Mazda 3 was fine though.

Back home, I waited until the engine had cooled down and took a look under the bonnet to check fluid levels. To open it you need to pull the lever below the steering wheel near the fuel filler cap release.

Under the bonnet is pretty easy to navigate around with everything clearly labelled. We checked the coolant levels first and there was a more than a sufficient amount available.

Screenwash was next, rather than wait for the notification to tell me I needed to add more I decided to give it a top up.

Checking engine oil is pretty simple to do. All you need to do is lift the dipstick (usually a bright yellow toggle sticking out of the engine), wipe it clean and then place it back inside. When you pull it out a second time the oil marks that appear on the dipstick will indicate how much is in the car. It'll need to sit between the empty and full markers.

Now with all the fluids checked and the tyres correctly inflated, I needed to check was the lights which is quick and easy to do.

All you need to do is switch them on and have a walk round the car. Then get someone to help as you check the brake lights.

Now everything has been checked we can give the Mazda 3 a clean bill of health and it's ready for the 200-mile round-trip to the Peak District at the weekend when we will find out just how the car performs travelling on more trickier terrains then the flat roads around Peterborough that its used to.

Miles so far: 3206

Fuel economy: 36.8mpg