All vehicles on the roadway can incur wear and tear issues that can create dangerous operating conditions for the driver and others. There is no set time table for these dangerous circumstances can develop so it important to stay vigilant and continuously monitor and maintain your vehicles condition.
Here are five simple but immensely important safety checks you should conduct on your vehicle. Not only will these checks ensure that your vehicle is maintained is a safe operating order, but also to keep your vehicle operating at the efficient and cost effective manner:
Tire pressure is the first concern. Don’t rely on the ole eye-ball test. Most of the radial tires on the market today always appear slightly deflated because they are designed to mushroom at the bottom for better road contact. So, it’s important to use an accurate tire gauge to check the tire pressure on all tires of the vehicle. If at any time your cars dashboard warning light indicates that there is low tire pressures immediately get the tires checked at a reputable tire store.
The second concern on a vehicle’s tires is the tread. You should never drive on bald tires that have little or no tire tread. The general rule is there should be at least 1/8 of an inch of tread on each tire to be safe. It’s an easy test to check the tire tread. Simply put a penny upside down into each groove of the tire. If all of Lincoln’s head shows, you should purchase new tires.
New cars usually come with three year batteries. Subsequently installed batteries can have longer life expediencies. However, any battery can develop complications and burn out sooner than expected. Vehicles that are parked outside in extreme weather, their battery generally does not last as long as garage parked vehicles. Dying batteries can give warning signs such as slow to start, dimming of interior lights or dashboard lights, but often times the warnings are slight and do not give much notice before the battery is dead. Your vehicle will not start with a dead battery and could leave your stranded. This could put your personal safety in danger in an unsafe location or situation.
Any vehicle, new or used, can have faulty or burned-out bulbs. So it’s important to check all outside light on a vehicle. These include: headlights, parking lights, reverse lights, turn signals, emergency lights, and brake lights. The best manner to check for properly working lights is to have another person assist you. One person can initiate each light while the other walks around the vehicle to confirm each is in proper working order. If you do not have someone to assist you, pull your vehicle up to a wall of some kind. Initiate each light and confirm that each illuminates properly by looking at the reflection on the wall.
Look under your parked vehicle, if there are puddles or stains beneath the vehicle, this can be signal of concern. It could be harmless condensation from using the air conditioning, but any leaks or stains certainly warrant further investigation. These could also indicate an important safety concern including a loss of motor oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, antifreeze or transmission fluid which would make the vehicle dangerous to operate.
Most businesses that do oil changes will typically check these fluids. Ask the service provider to show you the fluid levels so you can be certain the fluid checks are done properly and completely. You can always check these fluid levels yourself and should refer to the vehicle’s owner manual for proper instruction.
Check for two things: first – do they work and second do they work sufficiently. So, first turn them on and if they don’t start, then get to a dealership or other repair shop immediately! If the wipers do initiate, then initiate the windshield wiper fluid to spray on the windshield. Effective wipers should clear the view from inside the vehicle within one up and down turn of the wipers. If you see streaks, or film or water remains after the first turn of the wipers, you should get the wipers replaced as soon as possible. Most auto parts stores will not only sell these but also install them free of charge for you. Wiper blades can age and become ineffective quickly, especially on vehicles that are stored outside, you don’t want to discover that they are ineffective in the middle of a sudden rain storm, so do this check often, preferably once every three months.