Toyota Auris HSD: Health checks

Keeping the Auris on top form

With the Auris having endured the worst that the winter weather seemed to have in store, it seemed sensible to give it a thorough check-over to make sure everything was in order.

The first task was to give it a clean. The white paintwork means that dirt really stands out and the wet, slushy and muddy conditions over the past weeks had resulted in a thick layer of grime over the whole car - annoying when you had to squeeze past it in a tight space as the dirt would end up on your clothes without you realising.

My real reason for giving it a thorough jetwash and clean, however, was to make sure that all the extremely corrosive road salt was blasted off the car. This helps stop any rust forming on the body panels - especially if they've been chipped or scratched - and prevents any unpleasant underbody damage.

Ten minutes work soon had the Auris looking presentable again, so it was time to move onto a quick safety inspection. Oil, brake fluid, coolant and washer fluid levels were all checked, and I also cleaned and inspected the wiper blades and made sure all the lights were operating properly.

Lastly, the tyres were checked for the correct pressure and for any uneven wear or damage - essential if you want to keep the car as economical and safe as possible.

Ideally you should carry out checks like this on a regular weekly basis, to make sure that your car is roadworthy and to protect yourself from any unpleasant surprises. If you were unlucky enough to get pulled over, for example, the fine for one illegal tyre can be up to £2,500 and three points.

One thing I did notice while going over the car was that the brake discs were all quite heavily corroded, pitted and scored - despite the brakes having recently been used. This was quite surprising, given that my other car, which had simply sat for two weeks, displayed virtually no corrosion on its discs.

At the moment, barring some occasional slight noise, this wear and tear poses no risk - but I will keep a keen eye on the condition of the seemingly 'soft' discs in case their condition deteriorates further.

Current mileage: 8,967

Average mpg: 41.9

Slush-covered roads have made a state of the Auris.

It's important to wash corrosive winter road salt off.

Brake discs had some heavy scoring and corrosion.