Whether you’re a last-minute go-er or a planner, sometimes it’s helpful to have a basic list checked out of things that need to get taken care of, especially when it comes to your car. Make sure to check the following for a smoother and safer ride.
Check the Fluids in Your Car
You’ll be more likely to avoid an accident or breakdown by checking the oil, coolant, brake fluid and windscreen wash levels. Also check the levels for the clutch fluid (often the same as brake fluid) and power steering fluid (if fitted to your car). Refer to your owner’s manual to see where fluid reservoirs are located.
Check your air pressure.
These should be printed in the owner’s manual or a sticker on the body where the driver’s door shuts. The pressure marked on the side of the tire is the max, which must not be exceeded. Also, don’t forget to check your spare tire pressure. Often neglected, not doing so will turn a bad time into a worse one if the spare is unusable.
Get the oil changed before you leave if it’s almost time for a change.
A long trip can put additional stress on your motor. Don’t think that adding extra oil by yourself will work like an oil change, because that does not get rid of the sludge from old used oil. You may not realize this due to the fact that you are continuously adding new, cleaner oil which makes it appear as if it is clean oil. When changing your car’s oil, you must always replace the oil filter at the same time.
Check your tire wear by using a penny or tread gauge. Ensure you have at least 1/16th” or 1.6mm tread left. If the tread is less than 1/12″ or 2.5mm, consider replacing your tires for very long journeys as they will wear down more quickly. Tires heat up on long trips which can cause blowouts on worn out tires.
Check your car’s air filter.
A plentiful supply of clean air to your engine improves the vehicle’s performance and efficiency. Also check and change your car’s cabin (pollen) filter if it has one, as these are often ignored in services and, if worn, adversely affect the quality of air in the cabin.
Wash your car.
At the minimum, clean the windows of your car for the best visibility. Also check the condition of your wiper blades and replace them if necessary.
Check to be certain that all lights and signals are functional on your car.
You may need the help of another person for this. Sit in the car, turn on each light or signal and ask your friend to tell you if it is working or not. Replace bulbs as necessary. Also consider carrying spare bulbs on a road trip (at least one for each light eg. headlights, indicators, tail lights, reverse lights). Changing bulbs (especially front) can take time in modern cars, so don’t leave this to the last minute if bulbs need changing.
- Occasionally, lights may not work because a fuse needs replacing. Consider checking your headlights alignment (using a white garage door or inside a garage) and adjusting the alignment if it is incorrect as poor headlight alignment will reduce visibility at night, especially on unlit roads.
If you are currently shopping for car insurance, get in touch with your UniAmerica Insurance agent today or give us a call at 1-310-835-3373.