Elena Gordonza, WED | How safe is your car or truck? As with any other vehicle or machine with movable parts, it’s important to do some basic safety checks to make sure your ride will run as smoothly and safely as possible. Here are some of the most critical checks to do for car protection.
- Transmission Fluid
This liquid is needed to guarantee that your car’s gears are changing smoothly. The process of checking the transmission fluid is easy so it’s a step you should take to make sure your vehicle has the right amount of fluids. As when checking the oil there’s a dipstick you’ll have to check to make sure it’s at the right level. Besides checking the actual transmission fluid level, you should also look for flakes/chunks of metal that are sticking to the dipstick. It’s a sign that it’s time to take your automobile to your local repair shop.
- Air Filter
If you’re planning a long trip you should consider checking the car’s or truck’s air filter since it can help to save some money. How is that possible? The cleaner the air filter is the more air that flows into the vehicle’s engine. That will improve your gas mileage and thus save some cash. The process of checking the air filter is quick and easy so it’s a step you should definitely consider doing regularly.
Lights are another easy safety check but are especially critical if you travel at night. Check the lighting functions including the headlights, taillights, brake lights, emergency lights, etc. The process of replacing a light is very simple yet important so it’s another check that you should do on a regular basis.
It’s quite easy and important to check the engine oil of your car or truck. In fact, if you detect any oil problems you can save tons of money that you would have spent on engine repairs or replacement. Driving your vehicle on low or low oil is a situation you should try to avoid as much as possible.
Make sure to check the oil when the engine is warm. Check the dipstick to verify that it’s at the “full” line. If the level is far below that line then it’s important to do an oil change. You should also consider having a mechanic check your vehicle for any oil leaks. There’s a chance you just need to add some oil to your vehicle but it’s also possible that there’s a leak that’s causing oil to drip from your car or truck.
More specifically this is about the water in the radiator. The radiator is used to keep your engine cool so it’s critical to verify that there’s water in the radiator. First turn off the car and wait for everything to cool down. Then unscrew the radiator cap and check for water. If it’s low then you should add some water and if you live in a cold climate make sure to add a water/antifreeze mix.
Make sure that the tires of your car have enough air. The amount needed is based on the tire and vehicle so check the owner’s manual so you’ll know the correct pressure for the tires. You can find an air pump at most gas stations to add air to your tires. If the pressure keeps dropping then you might have a leaky tire. In that case, it’s important to get it fixed quickly.
Here’s another basic safety check that you should perform regularly on your vehicle. The good news is that checking the battery is quite easy. Put a voltmeter on the terminal. Another option is to use your eyes to check the battery terminals. Make sure to look for corrosion buildup on the terminals.
How should you clean corrosion off the terminals? Just collect a steel brush as well as a can of soft drink. Turn off the vehicle and disconnect the battery. Then pour some soda onto the battery terminals and let it sit for a few seconds. Then use the steel brush to scrub off the corrosion. This process not only removes the corrosion but also boosts the electricity flow you’ll get more voltage for your ride.
Finally, make sure you have a roadside toolbox with you for emergency repairs while you’re on the road.