Proper Vehicle Safety Maintenance

Posted on August 22, 2013 by

No matter how well or how carefully you drive, you are not completely safe unless your vehicle systems are in good condition. If neglected, any number of things could fail you at a critical moment, resulting in a serious crash. The specifics for every vehicle are different, so it’s best to consult your owner’s manual for details. The following touches on a few basic areas necessary to maintain a proper, working and most importantly, SAFE vehicle.

– Lights – Make sure that all of your lights work, inside and out, and that your light lenses are clean. Burned out bulbs not only create a danger for you and others, you can also be cited for a ticket.

– Windshield – Cracks or nicks in the windshield need to be repaired. Not only do these cracks make it more difficult to see when driving, it also becomes a safety hazard in the event of an accident. A cracked windshield is not designed to withstand the extreme forces of a traffic accident.

– Tires – Bald, excessively worn, or improperly inflated tires decrease the ability of the driver to control the vehicle. Rotating your tires helps prolong their life and improve fuel economy. On most vehicles, tires should be rotated about twice a year. Also, don’t forget the spare. They sure come in handy when you need them.

– Oil – Car engines run particularly well when they are regularly lubricated. Check around the car and under the engine for fluid leaks. Generally, you can often identify the type of fluid that is leaking by its color. Oil is black, coolant is a bright greenish yellow, automatic transmission fluid is pink, and power steering and brake fluids are clear, with a slight brown tinge.

– Brakes – On a straight, flat and traffic-free stretch of road, rest your hands lightly on the steering wheel and apply the brakes gradually. If the vehicle swerves to one side, one of the brake linings may be worn more than the other, or the brakes may need adjustment. If this happens, make sure to get the vehicle to a proper mechanic. It is important to pay attention to any strange sounds you may hear when you apply your brakes, such as grinding or squeaking sounds. Any such noise should alert you to have your brakes inspected. The brake pads and give a warning noise when they are worn to where a replacement is required.

By keeping your vehicle in proper, working condition, you will not only increase your overall fuel efficiency and prolong the life of your car, you will ensure that your vehicle is always ready to go and will perform as safely as it can.

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