Have you ever wondered if your car is safe? Have you been paying attention to the minor snags that crop up every now and then? It is essential that you take your car out for servicing regularly. Cars are like the human body, in many aspects. When a car is maintained properly, it behaves well. You tend to be a lot safer and there are fewer chances of an accident when your car is well serviced. Safety checks at least once a month will help in avoiding breakdowns, reducing mechanical problems and ensuring safe driving conditions.
Tires have been referred to as the most neglected among car components. They are the least respected. Tires have been treated with disdain. They are battered and bruised yet, neglected. Statistics show that every year over 20,000 car crashes result from blow-outs or tire failure. Most of these crashes could have been avoided by proper tire maintenance. It is surprising that people do not give any attention to the tires although they are the easiest to maintain and fix. Owners need to understand that most of the crashes are maintenance related and can be avoided by looking after the tires well.
It is extremely essential that you maintain the tire inflation pressure at optimum levels. It is known that tires lose their pressure gradually due to variations in atmospheric temperature. The pressure changes with time and since most tires today are radial, it is almost impossible to tell if the pressure is not alright. It is always good to have a pressure gauge ready with you. Before you set out on a drive, check for pressure and ensure that it is at recommended levels.
The tread of the tire also needs to be checked regularly. Braking effectiveness and traction are influenced by the Tread depth and wear. When the wear in the tire is not even, problems in wheel alignment arise and you could have trouble with the balance. Ensure that the tires have at least an eighth of an inch of tread depth left. Slicks are used in racing tracks and not on regular roads. The best way to check for tread is by placing a penny in a tire groove with heads upside down and facing you. If the top of the figure head is visible, it is time to change your tire.
Brakes are life-savers. If you neglect your brakes, you might end up paying with your life. Check if the brake pedal is alright. If there is a decreased resistance or when there is abnormal depression in the brake, it is time for inspection. Vibration or grating noises are tell-tale signs of rotors getting worn down because the brake pads are thinning out. When a brake is worn, stopping distance is increased and overall braking efficiency is reduced. So, make sure that your brake pads have sufficient thickness and that rotors are in the right shape.
A well serviced car reflects a proper fluid system. When the fluid systems are in top shape, the rest of the vital systems are working fine too. So ensure that you check for the proper level and quality of various fluids. Look beneath your car for signs of fluid leaks and check the oil level. Low levels or broken-down oil can damage expensive components beyond repair. The best insurance for your car is the frequent oil changes you make. While checking for oil levels, check even the fluid levels of the radiator coolant, brake master cylinder, windshield washer, transmission, and power steering units.
Belts and Hoses
Every component of a vehicle has an important role to play in the proper functioning of the entire system, so; do not ignore the belts and hoses that might appear trivial to you. Check all rubber components for loose connections, leaks, and cracks. In an attempt to save costs, if you invest in cheap belts and hoses, you might end up spending ten times as much because of engine overheating. You could be left stranded on the road. So, treat your car the way you wish to be treated – royally.
Night driving can be quite dangerous if your lamps are not working properly. You can avoid risks by ensuring that your lights are working well. Check your headlamps for high and low beams, your tail lights, brake lights and turn signals if you do not wish to run into trouble with the local law enforcement officer.
Children and Safety Kits
In addition to components, you need to be careful about the way you drive. It has been observed that every year, many children are accidentally run over and killed by family members backing up their car. So make sure that there are no kids standing behind the car when you back up.
Even when you are extremely careful, there are possibilities of an accident. So ensure that you have certain items in your trunk that come in handy in such situations. These should include a flashlight, blanket, and a bag of salt, first aid kit, jumper cables, fire extinguisher, duct tape, white distress rag, and flares.
Safety checks carried out periodically help in avoiding a lot of accidents and help you cut down on your crash expenses. A healthy car saves you a lot of tension. So, do your part and teach your children how to take care of their vehicles.