Volvo V40 D2 SE: Time for a health check

  • V40 reminds me to carry out some maintenance checks
  • Simple 20p test shows tyres still have plenty of tread
  • Ice White paintwork is hard to keep clean

Regular maintenance checks are an important part of keeping your car in tip top shape but can easily get side-lined or forgotten in our busy everyday lives.  

Time can slip away from you - it was only this week I realised our Volvo V40 had been with us for over four months now and was overdue a bit of a healthcheck.

Luckily the V40 reminded me and flashed up a warning that the screenwash was running low, prompting me to pop the bonnet (after having to look in the manual how to do it).

For those of you who're interested, there's a small lever you need to pull on the front passenger side in the footwell by the door.

To minimise the risk of your car breaking down, drivers should carry out frequent checks on their cars to make sure they remain roadworthy.

I’m not as eager as some of my colleagues when it comes to learning about all the oily moving parts in a car and how they all work together. I learnt enough to pass my driving test, and that was all.

Luckily for me, all the important features under the bonnet are clearly labelled so it would be almost impossible to put oil in the screenwash funnel and visa versa. But if you have a car that is not as clearly labelled as our V40, definitely read the manual before you start.

Once the bonnet was up the first thing I did was fill up the washer fluid, then checked the oil levels by lifting the dipstick, wiping it, putting it back in all the way and then bringing it back out again. I then made sure the oil was within the marks on the dipstick. 

Next I checked the coolant level in the expansion tank. If you do find that the coolant is running low, always fill with some anti-freeze to stop the water freezing during colder winter months.

After checking fluid levels I moved round to the tyres to check tread depth and condition. They were all in tip top condition, no lumps or funny bumps and they were at the correct pressure.  

I didn’t have a tread depth gauge to hand but a 20p piece worked just as well, if after inserting one the outer band of the coin is visible, then the tyre may not have sufficient depth and should be checked by a qualified specialist.

As you can see though, our V40's tyres were very good with plenty of tread still left.

After completing all the checks I decided to take the V40 to the carwash. One thing I will say about the Ice White paintwork - head turner it may be but it is also a nightmare to keep clean this time of year!


Fuel economy: 48.7mpg