LIFESTYLE

Car Maintenance 101: Everything You Need To Check

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When you have a car for a little while, you will begin to notice that things aren’t always as peachy as they were the moment you took them out of the garage for the first time. Over time there will always be some wear and tear to your vehicle, and as the owner of your car you need to be sure that you always take time out to check your car to make sure it is safe and working to its full potential.

Today we are going to take a little look at some of the ways that you can check the safety of your car and make sure that it is always good enough to drive on the roads. The main thing you will end tot be sure of is that your car cannot cause any risk to you and other users of the road, because the last thing you want to have to do is end up at Mercedes Benz following a crash fixing your vehicle or having to buy a new one.

Seatbelts

The main thing which you need to check with your seatbelts is whether the tension in them is correct, and whether the buckle is working correctly. The job of a seatbelt in the car is of course to keep us in place in the event of a crash, so if the buckle and tension are loose, this can be dangerous.

External lights

As you will likely know, it is illegal for you to drive on the road if one of your lights isn’t working. The reason for this is that every light on the car has a different purpose, ie the indicators, brake lights and side lights… and if one of these lights is out it could mislead road users to your intentions. Be sure to keep a car light bulb kit in the car so that you can change them if you need to.

Handbrake

Make sure that the handbrake is working correctly because this is what will stop your car from rolling when you are parked on a slope. The last thing you want is for your car to drift down the road when you get out of it!

Windscreens & mirrors

Carefully check your windscreens and your mirrors to make sure there aren’t any cracks or chips. If there are, be sure to get these fixed because they can be a danger to you and other road users if you cannot see the road or the glass smashes.

Horn

Although you likely won’t be using your car horn very often, it is still important for you to check that it works in case of an emergency. And by emergency, we don’t mean for you to shout at someone on the road!

Spare tyre and jack

Whatever you do, make sure that you always have your spare tyre and jack in the boot of the car in case of an emergency. This will allow you to change a tyre if it pops while out and about, and will allow you to carry on your way.

Fluids

The fluids of the car are important for several reasons and they help to make sure your machine runs smoothly. Make sure that you check your fluids regularly, such as your washer fluid, antifreeze, oil and power steering fluid if you have it. If you are unsure which fluids you need to check, here’s a list of what most cars have:

  • engine oil
  • radiator coolant
  • automatic transmission fluid
  • windscreen washer fluid
  • brake fluid
  • clutch fluid
  • power steering fluid
  • battery fluid (distilled water)

If you are unsure of how to check any of these make sure you ask someone.

Tyres

The tyres are one of the most important parts of the car and this is because your tyres are the only part of the car which touches the floor. It is crucial for the safety of yourself on the road that both the pressure and the tread of your tyres are correct.  Let’s start with the pressure. When you are driving on the roads you will notice how fluid the movement is and this is because your tyres are inflated and are helping you to move smoothly on the road. If you start to notice vibration or skidding on the roads this is an indication that they need inflating. You’ll have a guide in your car handbook which will tell you the pressure your tyres need to be at, so you can visit a local garage or use your own pressure gauge to fill them up.

The tyre tread is an important factor in the road because it allows the tyres to grip even on wet surfaces and will prevent aquaplaning on the road. Your tyre tread has to be above a certain level, and this is why you have to make sure that you replace your tyres every so often to keep them safe.

Wipers

One of the parts of the car which can often be forgotten about or neglected is the wipers. Your wiper blades aren’t an everlasting item on the car and eventually you will need to replace them. Over time when you have been using the wipers a lot, there will be a build up of cracks and weather damage and this is why you will need to replace them now and again. If they have cracks in them and you don’t replace them, the wipers won’t do their job very well and they won’t move water away from your windscreen.

Air filter

The air filter of your car is a hugely important element of the car and it acts as the car’s lungs. The air filter is used to help ventilate your car and the engine, and it needs to be kept clear in order to allow fresh air into the engine. Make sure you check now and again if the air filter is clogged, and if it is you will need to make sure to clean it out. Your car handbook will likely give you tips on how to do this so you can keep your car running clear and smooth.

Cleaning

Believe it or not, cleaning your car isn’t only a way to make it look and feel brand new, it is important for the health of your car too. For example if you leave your car with dirt on it for a long period of time, rust can start to form on the body of the car and you won’t be able to remove this by cleaning it after. Also if you live in an area where you park under a tree, the car can be victim to bird poo and tree sap, and both of these things can damage your bodywork. The acid in these substances can actually cause a fair bit of damage to your car and burn through the paint.

The battery

Your battery is something which you think will last forever on the vehicle but a lot of the time this isn’t the case. It is important that you check your battery regularly and take the time to pour some

Distilled water into the battery to help it run smoothly. Make sure that the health of your battery is good and this will allow you to keep the car running smoothly for much longer, and have a longer lifespan.

Emergency kit

This next tip is one which is more for the general day to day running of the car, but it is still and important thing for you to consider when you want to keep the vehicle and yourself safe out and about. It is important for you to keep an emergency kit in your boot in case you are ever out in the middle of nowhere and you happen to get stuck or trapped. This kit will have to include all of the things you need to contact for help and also to make your way and be comfortable during your wait. Some of the things which could be included in a car kit would be:

  • Phone
  • Phone chargers
  • Battery power bar
  • Batteries
  • Torch
  • Blankets
  • Food
  • Water
  • Spare shoes
  • Emergency contact numbers
  • A map

As well as all of these things there might be other items you want to add but this is down to your personal preference and also what you have room for in the car.

First aid kit

And finally, one thing which can be a huge help to you if you are ever caught up in an accident while on the road is a first aid kit. This can be a small kit which contains all of the basic things you would need if you suffered from a burn or a scrape while out and about. You will want to make sure you have plasters, bandages, dressing, scissors, safety clips, tape, sterile wipes, an ice pack, soothing gel and anything else you may need. This will just ensure that if you need it, you will always have a way to be safe on the road.

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