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“Using a Maintenance Checklist to Keep Your Car Safe: 6 Items to Check”
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“Using a Maintenance Checklist to Keep Your Car Safe: 6 Items to Check”
Eighty-four percent of vehicles on the road need parts or servicing, according to a 2014 Car Care Council survey. Performing routine maintenance checks on your car is the best way to avoid these issues and make sure you and your family stay safe on the road. Here is a checklist of some of the most important maintenance items you should maintain to keep your car safe.
Maintaining your car’s braking system is the most vital part of keeping your vehicle safe, says Autos.com, which provides a comprehensive safety maintenance checklist. Bad brakes can cause you to slide into a car in front of you, into an intersection or off the road. You can do a simple check of your brakes by pumping them several times with the engine off until you feel the pedal become firm. You should be able to hold the pedal for 10 seconds without feeling movement. If you feel movement or softness, get your brakes checked.
Keeping your tires in good shape is vital to maintaining control of your vehicle on the road. Bad tires can cause you to skid or swerve, which can be especially dangerous in bad weather.
Begin your tire inspiration by checking the sidewalls for nicks or bulges. If your tires are worn, they need to be replaced. Finally, check the pressure with a gauge and inflate if necessary. Check your tires once a month or before you go on a long trip, and replace them at least once every 10 years.
3) Lights and Signals
Your lights and signals let other drivers know where you are and where you’re going. If these indicators are not working, another driver might not realize you’re about to turn, or they might miss you in the dark. A comprehensive check of your lights and signals should include your brake lights, front and rear blinkers, front and rear hazard flashers, rear reverse lights, side marker lights, and high and low beam headlights.
Maintaining proper fluid levels will help you avoid mechanical problems. It will also keep you from getting stranded, which can become a safety issue in bad weather or driving in the desert. A general inspection of your fluid levels should cover your brake fluid, engine oil, engine coolant, transmission fluid and power steering fluid.
5) Electrical and Safety Systems
Checking your instrument panel can give you an early warning of issues such as engine problems. Check to make sure no warning lights are on, such as lights to check your engine or airbags. Make sure all dash and accessory lights work properly. You should also check safety features, which include your seatbelts and horn. If you have a small child, check the car seat.
6) Engine Issues and Other Items
The checklist covers the most essential safety maintenance items, but there are a number of other issues that come up periodically. For instance, if your engine isn’t running properly, you might need to pop the hood to give it a look. Items you can glance at include your radiator, belts, hoses and spark plug wires, among others. Occasionally, engine valves may need maintenance. Most valves use nitrile-based seals. These can become brittle from long-term overheating, causing problems such as low lubrication or flooding. Eric the Car Guy demonstrates how you can do a compression test to check the condition of your valves. It’s a good way to get a baseline of the mechanical health of your engine.
Source: Ruth Ann Monti/Social Monsters. Ruth Ann provides copywriting and content development for all things webby. Her interests include content development and SEO topics and small business issues, including technologies that support them.
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By Guest Author: Zoe Florence
Driver Safety Week is an important time to remember how crucial driver safety is to everyone on the road. However, aside from just reminding people about driver safety, drivers should also take the time to ensure they are safe out there on the roads. Many people die or get seriously injured from road accidents each year and so drivers everywhere should always keep the following things on mind when they go on the road.
We all know that we should never drive drunk, tired, or too fast. However, distractions can be just as bad while driving so it’s important that you remove all distractions while on the road. Put your phone on silent mode or turn it off completely. If you are on a long trip or you truly are waiting for an important call, then you should purchase a in-car phone system that can route phone calls to your car’s speaker system to keep your hands free. However, the best thing to do is still to remove all distractions and you should only use the phone in cases of extreme emergencies.
Wear Your Seatbelt
Studies have shown that wearing your seatbelt can prevent fatalities during car accidents. When worn correctly, this prevents the driver and passengers from flying through the windshield or being tossed around inside the vehicle. Even the most minor car collisions can cause the people inside the car to bump into the dashboard or side mirrors. So, buckle up before you start the motor – and tell your passengers the same too!
Keep a Safe Distance
Don’t follow the car in front of you too closely while on the road. You need time to react just in case the person in front of you stops all of a sudden. Different drivers have different reaction times so it’s hard to say exactly how far you should stay back, but a good rule of thumb is the three second rule. Basically, look for an stationary object on the side of the road. As soon as the car in front of you passes it, start counting. You should count to at least 3 before your car passes the same object.
Drive According to Weather
Driving in the summer and the spring can be a pleasant experience. However, when the winter months come, you need to start thinking about the way you drive. Snow and ice can cause your car to slip, so make sure you have more space in between you and the car in front of you. Fog and sleet can reduce visibility so make sure you go just below the speed limit to avoid accidents.
Maintain Your Car Properly
Car maintenance isn’t just about keeping your car in good shape, but it’s actually a safety issue too. You need to take your car in for regular inspections by a mechanic at an auto repair services shop. An auto repair services can help you keep your can in good shape. You should find a reliable and trusthworthy auto repair services shop in your area who will not only charge you a fair price, but have your safety in mind.
Image via Flickr User Sean Freese
Zoe Florence belongs to the world of automotive sales and management consulting. I am a typical introvert, writer, analyst, friendly web fanatic and a travel fan. I loved to share and gather important information on auto industry and auto repair services.
By Andre Smith
Drive safely regardless of the vehicle’s age or your driving skills. Accidents happen within seconds, so gain the experience you need to drive anywhere. Research tips that will help you reach a destination safely with minimal damage to you or your car.
1. Join an Auto Club
Consider joining a car club that provides a variety of benefits for drivers. Roadside assistance is one of the most important services available. Call a mechanic who comes to your aid quickly whenever you have car problems. This type of service is available at all hours of the day. Wherever you get stranded, know that your safety is assured.
2. Maintain Your Car Regularly
Every year, check up your car at a repair shop. This step is especially important if you plan to venture on a long-distance trip. Prepare for a week before the trip in case you have to pay for repairs. Tell the mechanic to review the tires, fluids and engine. Learn basic tips like how to replace a flat tire and turn the steering wheel to avoid a skid. Keep your car well-maintained throughout the year.
3. Consider an Energy-Efficient Car
As you drive safely, make sure that you promote the safety of the environment as well. Cars release gas fumes that contain all kinds of hazardous substances. Energy-efficient cars are designed to reduce these emissions and prevent air pollution. Also, invest in these cars to save hundreds of dollars on monthly gas costs.
There are many lists of popular vehicles that are affordable and easy to operate. The Toyota Prius is not the only car that is worth a discussion. For a good overview of eco-friendly vehicles, review this post by Klosters.
4. Include Emergency Tools
Include plenty of emergency tools in your car. Have a good first aid kit nearby along with flashlights and basic repair tools. Keep a spare tire, and know how to fix one within minutes. If you are stranded on the road, you should not have to flag down strangers. Always bring a cell phone and charger with you.
5. Do Not Drive Distracted
It is evident that people cannot drive drunk without causing problems. Find ways that you can reduce distractions while driving. Whether you text or eat fast food, be more cautious, drive slower or pull over. The best tip is to drive and avoid doing anything else. Also, do not drive when you are tired or emotionally charged. Review the surrounding areas where you drive. Cruising on the highway is more dangerous than cruising on a rural road and here is a great post on how to drive on highways for beginners. If you see many streams of cars flying past you, it is definitely not suitable to drive while talking on the phone.
Driving on the road comes with a wide range of dangers. Defective brakes, slick roads and irresponsible drivers are common hazards that you should know about. Even if accidents are caused by other people, do whatever you can to protect yourself. Prevent accidents from happening to you, passengers and drivers in other vehicles.
About the Author:
Andre is a marketing consultant from Brisbane, Australia. His two great passions are cars and football. He is also a blogger and has written a number of automotive articles that you can read on his Google+ page.