Essential Car Maintenance Tips To Avoid Accidents
Mitigating the risk of roadway accidents by taking care of a few things before you hit the road.
My family gets super anxious whenever I get behind the wheels. My mum sends me off while murmuring a little prayer for my safety, and you will never see anyone's car in my family without the car maintenance kit and the first aid kit. Also, we all frequently get our vehicles checked for any maintenance issues.
No points for guessing here. Everyone started getting extra cautious as I have had a few minor accidents since I started driving.
Two of those were a result of poor maintenance, such as failing brakes, and less visibility due to dim headlights. Another one was when I got a bit injured due to the other driver's negligence.
Although mine were thankfully minor, most collisions can be and sadly are fatal. Last year, almost 4.4 million people were injured to the extent that they required medical attention in accidents, according to the National Safety Council.
Negligence and poor road conditions can be a cause of accidents, but auto maintenance issues are also among the leading causes of accidents. One needs to keep up the car in proper condition to ensure road safety.
I learned the hard way, but you can read on the blog to know some crucial tips to maintain your car so that you can avoid a mishap on the road.
1. Change The Motor Oil
Motor oil is to the car what blood is to a human body. In short, extremely important.
Your car's engine will perform optimally if you regularly change the motor oil. The American Automobile Association recommends changing the oil every 5000 to 7000 miles.
You may not be well aware of what type of oil and oil filter is best for your car, and other factors due to which the interval and type of oil may vary. Therefore, it is the safest bet to get quality professional services for your car.
2. Regularly Check The Antifreeze
Any issue with your heater and defroster points towards an inefficient antifreeze. Before the cold weather arrives with full intensity, make sure that you are using the right antifreeze to avoid engine issues and potential accidents.
3. Check Whether Brakes Are In Proper Working Condition
Keeping the brakes in sound condition is literally one of the most important things for safe driving. It would be best if you got them checked regularly to spot any issue before it causes a mishap. Break fluid leak should also be inspected.
Even while buying a car, you must check whether its brakes are working with proper efficiency or not. I know you might get carried away by looking at that dream Lamborghini for sale, but it is wise to get its brakes inspected professionally. Your dream drive shouldn't be risky and unsafe. Therefore, make sure you are buying it from an authorized dealer.
Used cars, as old as ten years, are still being bought quite frequently. If maintained well, buying a used car can be an excellent option to get a personal vehicle in an affordable range.
It's vital to maintain the used car as parts that get very old may not perform efficiently. Refer to the graph below on what sort of maintenance was required for used cars by these owners.
4. Instantly Replace Cracked Windshield
A crack in the windshield is a seemingly harmless issue. But it drastically impacts the driver's vision, putting him on a risk. Collisions due to impaired vision are frequent and can be fatal if you drive at high speed. Avoid any such hazard by getting your windshield replaced as soon as it gets cracked.
5. Improve Visibility By Replacing Lights
Another factor that hinders visibility is dim or misaligned headlights. For a clear, optimum vision, replace the headlights or its bulb, if needed. Even brake lights and malfunctioning indicator lights can cause serious trouble, so get them repaired or replaced to avoid any harm.
6. Get The Suspensions Inspected
A suspension system that works smoothly gives you stability and a better hold on the road while driving. On the other hand, worn-out springs can harm your vehicle and be quite unsafe as the car may rollover due to instability.
You can spot the issue in your car suspension if you feel a drift while taking a turn. A rough ride and the car lurching forward upon applying brakes is also a sign of faulty suspensions. A suspension that is wearing out gives uneven pressure on the tires.
If you feel any of these issues, it’s time to get the suspensions repaired.
7. Replace The Air Filter
Below-par gas mileage and the engine not performing well can result from a dirty air filter. Check the air filter frequently and do the needful as soon as it gets clogged. On average, cars need a new filter every twelve months.
8. Inspect The Tire Pressure
Before going anywhere, especially a long trip, check your tire pressure and keep it to the recommended levels to drive safely. Low tire pressure has an impact on car mileage. Stay vigilant and make it a habit to check tire pressure every time you head out.
Remember that worn-out tires can cause an accident, so you must replace them as soon as you spot the damage.
9. Check The Wheel Alignment
Do you know that unbalanced wheels can cause a vibration in the steering above the speed of 80mph?
Wheel alignment should be carried out once a year to maximize your tires' performance and life. It will also ensure the straight navigation of the vehicle.
10. Tune-Up The Engine
If you schedule a regular tune-up of your car engine, you will notice a big difference in its performance. Tuning gives you an excellent fuel economy and longer life of the vehicle. It also allows you to stay safe by preventing sudden car breakdowns. Starting an engine also becomes easier after a tune-up.
11. Replace Wiper Shield Blades
Can you imagine getting into a deadly accident just because you were foolish enough not to change the wiper shields that could wipe the rainwater properly? And that too when wiper shield blades are such an inexpensive and readily available thing? Accidents are avoidable if you show a bit of sanity, of course. If God forbid, you get into one, know about your rights in auto accidents.
Maintenance Is Crucial
To extend the life of your vehicle and to ensure road safety, maintaining your car is crucial. An unmaintained vehicle is just an accident that is waiting to happen. Besides being careful and abiding by the road safety rules, you can stay safe by adopting a proactive approach towards car maintenance.
Britney Caira is a writer. She is the manifestation of who you call an 'automobile geek.' When she isn’t driving a car, she is writing about it. Her life mostly revolves around speed, horsepower, and mileage.