It’s always important that any car owner feels safe and secure while on the road, and a large part of this is knowing that your car is in good shape. With a healthy car, you’ll be able to control your vehicle better, and reduce the risk of getting into an accident, whether it’s braking in time to avoid crashing into another car, or a sudden tire blow out that leaves you stranded waiting for a tow truck.
With that in mind, we’ve put together this advice on what to consider to ensure your car is safe.
Check for recall notices
Even if your car feels like it’s operating as smoothly as it always has in the past, there might be some safety issues that, while not as immediately visible, are still extremely important to take into consideration.
For example, it’s important that you know whether or not your car has any vehicle recall notices currently in. These are put in place when a car manufacturer or a car safety organisation such as the NHTSA spot that there’s a severe flaw in the car.
For example, a toyota recall might be in place due to an issue that many of their cars have had with Takeda airbags.
Car recall notices are rather highly-publicised, as a poor or ineffective response from a car manufacturer could have serious negative effects on their reputation going forward. If you’re unsure about whether or not your car has a recall notice in place, you can check on the NHTSA website.
You should also think about how old the car is. This is because older vehicles, such as from the early 90’s, or even earlier, might be missing out on some key safety features that have since become standard issue, such as anti-lock braking systems.
Check the tires
While keeping your eye on any warning lights or concerning sounds that your car is making is certainly important, it’s your tires that make sure you can stick to the roads safely during any journey. If your car’s wheels aren’t in good shape, you’ll find that the car isn’t as responsive as it should be, which can put you at increased risk of an accident.
Some of the things that you should check are:
- How worn your tires are, as too much wear will mean you can’t grip on the roads as effectively
- Tire pressure – Low tire pressure can affect many things, from your car’s fuel efficiency, to how quickly your car can brake and handle on the road, so it’s important to make sure that your tire pressure is consistently at a safe level
- Cuts, nicks and debris – Before setting off on any car journey, check your car’s tyres for any foreign objects. It might seem obvious, but if you drive off while there’s something stuck in there, there might be a risk of the object working its way in deeper, leading to increased puncture risk, and likely a much more expensive to repair
Frequent health checks
While casting an eye over your car before a journey can be a helpful way to make sure you’re safe to drive, it’s not exactly necessary to do this every single day. However, that doesn’t mean you should neglect keeping on top of things with frequent health checks.
If you forgo frequent car checks, you might gloss over some potentially minor issues that gradually snowball and become much more difficult to fix down the line.
Some of the things you might want to check on a monthly basis include:
- Engine oil
- Car battery health
- Tire alignment
- Brake health
While you can make some of these checks yourself, don’t neglect the insight of a professional mechanic every so often. Perhaps check your car over manually once every month, but have it checked by a mechanic once every 6 months. This way, you’re keeping on top of it yourself, while also having a professional offer advice at regular intervals.