Every few weeks it is a great idea to give your vehicle a good once-over to inspect for visible safety issues. Not only can they be a hazard, some of the things outlined in this article can result in a costly ticket from the law. In the end, it is your responsibility to ensure that your vehicle has good tires and is road worthy and safe.
Check Tire Inflation
Try and be sure that your tires are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended PSI (pounds per square inch) to improve fuel economy and tire integrity. Running the tires at a low or high PSI will result in uneven tire wear and cause safety issues. Pick up a tire gauge at the local parts store and keep tabs on the pressure. Even slow leaks should be delt with immediately by visiting the nearest tire service center like the one at Allen Honda.
Check all the Lights and Signals
Periodically making sure that all the vehicle’s lights work is very important. Check the headlights and tail lights to ensure the vehicle is safe at night, and then move on to the brake lights, turn signals and running lights. It doesn’t take very long, and replacing a burned out bulb is very cheap when compared to the damage or citations that could result.
Inspect the Windshield Wipers
Even if the weather is great and the sun is shining, it is imperative to have wipers that are in good condition. One never knows when they will be needed, and they are cheap insurance against driving blind. Make sure the rubber isn’t cracked or splitting, and that the arms are connected properly. Also recommended is to replace the entire unit instead of just the rubber blade when it comes time to purchase new ones. PRO TIP – If you take a minute every month to wipe the rubber blades with an alcohol swab, your wipers will last much longer!
Eyeball the Engine Belts and Hoses
Popping the hood and looking at the belts and hoses now and again can really save some problems on the road, even if you drive a very reliable vehicle. Hoses that appear hardened and brittle or have soft spots or bubbles should be replaced immediately. Inspect the belts (or belt, for the serpentine systems) for shiny spots or frays, as well as cracking and tears. It is very important to keep these components in excellent shape, because if they fail on the road any number of bad things can happen.
There is no need to set aside an entire day and do all of these at once, although that is one method of inspection. Simply checking these items routinely every few weeks can prevent costly repairs or a major mishap from occurring. Try not to think of regular inspections as a hassle; consider them necessary and possibly life saving.
Time-Saving Tip: If you don’t have time to do this monthly yourself and you put a lot of miles on your vehicle, just go to a local full-service oil change place and ans them to do a full safety inspection along with your oil change. They are usually happy to do so because they will offer to fix anything they find on the spot. Of course they will charge for the repair and labor, but if you’re in a hurry and money isn’t an issue, this may be the best option. to get you back out on the highway…