Keeping a car safe is no easy feat, but it is something that must be done. Indeed, drivers are obliged to make sure that their car is safe and roadworthy at all times, and even if certain aspects of car maintenance are not considered to be mandatory by law it is still worth doing them to ensure that your car is safe to drive. This is especially true if you live in an area where there is a lot of snow or rain, you drive long distances, or drive a lot at night.
Take Care of Your Tires
Twice a month, be sure to check your tires. There are two things that you should look at – first, check the pressures (be sure to check the tire pressure of your spare as well as the tires that are in use), and inflate them if necessary. Secondly, check the depth of the treads. Make sure that there is enough tread left on them, and that if there is any wear it is even. If one side of a tire is more worn than the other, this could indicate a greater problem with the car.
Check Your Oil
Check your oil every few weeks as well, and always before heading off on a long journey. Top the oil up if necessary. If you notice that you’re needing to top up more than normal but aren’t driving more than you usually do, then you should get your car checked at a garage to diagnose the issue.
Check Your Other Fluids
It’s a good idea to check your coolant levels weekly. Do this when the engine is cold. Top up the anti-freeze before the weather starts to get really cold, and make sure that your coolant is filled to above the MIN, but not above the MAX (too much coolant is as bad as too little). Be sure to check your washer fluid as well. You are required to have a working wind shield washer, and it must be topped up with water and a washer additive that will stop the water from freezing, and also help to clear oily dirt from the window.
It’s important to check your brake and hydraulic fluid as well. Indeed, you should get into the habit of looking around under your car after it has been parked overnight, and if you spot any drips or leaks under it, doing a thorough investigation. Leaking fluids could be a sign that there is something seriously wrong with the vehicle.
Steering Has Fluids Too
What a lot of people don’t realize is that your power steering has fluids in it too. When you take your car to get it serviced, the garage will fill the hydraulic fluid reservoir for you. It’s a good idea for you to check this once a month, and then if necessary top it up again yourself.
Your Lights Must Work
Make sure that all of your lights work – not just headlights but indicators, break lights, f150 fog lights 2018, etc. Some damage will be obvious, such as cracks to the casing. Sometimes, however, a bulb can blow, and you might not notice this unless someone points it out to you. If you can, get a friend or family member to stand behind your car and tell you if the lights are coming on as you work through all of them. It can be incredibly dangerous to have broken lights, especially for things like indicators.
Take Care of Your Body
Check your car regularly for rust, dents and damage. While a slightly battered car body is unlikely to be a huge risk factor compared to some other things in this list, it’s still worth watching out for. Some things, such as a corroded exhaust pipe, can be a serious problem, and could render the car unusable. Catching warning signs of corrosion quickly could save you a lot of money.
If the weather is bad and your car is covered in snow, clear the snow off the roof. If you get mud splashed all over your windows, wipe it off before you hit the road. Make sure that you can see where you are going at all times, because driving with an obstructed view (Whether that is from a dirty windshield or a cracked one) could quite easily spell disaster for you.
If In Doubt, Get It Checked
If you are involved in a collision, then you should get your car checked immediately. Get the airbags checked to make sure that they will go off properly if you stop suddenly. Make sure that the seatbelts are in working order and get any area of the car that was damaged checked over fully. Don’t just assume that since you walked away from the incident, your car is fine. Sometimes damage is not so easy to see for an untrained person.
Make A Maintenance Routine
Make taking care of your car a regular routine. Have tasks that you do every couple of weeks, year round, then add extra things such as fitting snow tires (if applicable) as well as charging your battery (or changing it), and topping up the fluids with extra antifreeze for the winter. Keep track of your mileage and honor your service appointments, because there are many potential issues that are much easier to spot when a trained mechanic is looking over your car.
Don’t underestimate the importance of being a safe driver. Your car will perform better if you drive at steady speeds, slow down sensibly, speed up sensibly, and generally take good care of it. Speeding, gunning the engine, screeching to a halt and generally abusing the car will not do the brakes or the engine any good, and if you repeatedly stall or over-rev the engine that could damage it too. Skidding can damage the treads on your tires. Driving sensibly will make your car last longer and mean that if you ever need to do an emergency stop for real you’ll be able to depend on the car.