Driving and car care are two different things which car owners should have basic knowledge, but unfortunately, most car owners are concerned with the former; driving. Drivers are concerned with just moving their vehicles around, without paying much attention to the car and its functioning parts.
While the journey might be the most important, convenience comes from knowing such journeys can be made without hassles. It is important to carry out preceding checks before the journey.
Either daily commute to and from work or on a long trip, it is better to endeavour to check these on a vehicle.
- Tyre Inspection:
Make sure you keep a check to look out for tyres running low on air pressure. Also routinely top up the air in your tyres to maintain the optimum pressure. Choose to do so fortnightly. If the tyre is flat, replace it with the spare and get the flat tyre repaired. Do not ever drive the car with a flat tyre! Doing so, not only ruins the tyres and compromise the integrity of the wheels, it could damage the road surface.
- Fluid levels
You needn’t check the fluid levels daily, doing so every fortnight or monthly suffices. Fluids, such as transmission, power steering, coolant, and brake, play essential roles as do other parts on the vehicle, hence the need to top them off as necessary.
- Clean all the glass areas
The front and the rear windscreen, side/wing mirrors, rear view mirror all comprise of the glass. Make sure that they are cleaned, and the visibility is high at all times. Dust particles may settle overnight, it might be too humid,and the glass begins exhibiting fog. Ensuring these are clean and clear enough to ensure optimum visibility will make driving more pleasurable.
- Adjust the rear-view mirrors
Adjust the rear-view mirrors for your most optimal view. You should be able to see the small portion of the rear end of your car along with the lane next to it on your side/wing mirrors. The cabin rear view mirror should look through the rear windscreen and should guide you as to what’s exactly behind you.
- Adjust your seat
This could be more frequent if you are not the only driver. Do not commence your journey unless you are comfortable in the driver’s seat. you should be able to reach up to the pedals without having to stretch your legs, while your hands should not lock when holding the steering wheel. You should also be able to reach to the other controls of your car when in the driver’s seat
- Fasten your seatbelt
If your car has a reminder to fasten your seatbelt, well and good; if not, you better make it a habit. Irrespective of the distance to travel, wearing your seatbelt is for your own safety and is also mandatory by law.
- Check all the warning lights
If your engine is showing you any warning lights, please do not ignore it. Adhere to it and check out what the problem is. The check engine light would mean taking the car to the garage, or the oil warning light could mean, you are running on old oil and it is time for a replacement. If the car is heating up too often, make sure you top off with coolant before starting your journey.
Also check if the instrument cluster comprising of the odometer, speedometer, temperature and fuel gauges are working.
- Check the brakes
Before you set out on your journey, make sure to check the brakes and see if they have the needed stopping power. If you feel the brakes are not effective enough, first head to the mechanic’s shop before you begin your journey elsewhere. Ignoring your brakes can result in a life-threatening situation.
The above is not an exhaustive list of things to check, the onus is on each vehicle owner to ensure his/her vehicle is roadworthy.