The change in seasons is always a good time to think about regular car maintenance. Preventative maintenance is the best way to keep your vehicle operating safely.
Here’s an end-of-summer checklist for your vehicle.
- Check your headlights to make sure a bulb replacement is not required. Dimming headlights can present a significant safety hazard for nighttime drivers or those traveling in poor weather conditions.
- Check your tire pressure. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that roughly 25% of drivers have improper tire pressure, which reduces gas mileage and creates a safety hazard.
- Check your tire tread depth. Stick a penny upside down in the grooves of your tire. If you can see the top of the president’s head, you need new tires. Most tires last six to ten years, but this can be shortened by aggressive driving, worn suspension components, or improper inflation. Having your tires rotated regularly can increase their useful lifespan.
- Check your fluids. Just as your body needs water to function properly, your car doesn’t work without the right fluids. Make sure your engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid, and power steering fluid are at the proper levels. If you don’t know how to check these fluids, there are several excellent tutorials online.
- Replace your air filters. Air filters should be changed before they are full, since clogged filters can allow unwanted toxins to enter your vehicle and impede the overall performance. Air filters are normally checked when you bring your car in for an oil change, but are not difficult to replace on your own.
- Replace soiled or damaged spark plugs. Spark plugs are a common cause of vehicle malfunctions and should be checked regularly to make sure they are in proper condition.
- Wax your car. In addition to making your vehicle look nicer, waxing helps prevent rust and extends the life of your car’s paint job.
Back to school means homework for your kids, but you may want to consider spending some time studying your car’s maintenance manual. If you’ve lost the original manual, many vehicle manufacturers have electronic copies of manuals on their websites.
If there are any car maintenance issues that are beyond your personal skill level, it’s best to take your vehicle in for a professional inspection as soon as possible. In addition to preventing possible accidents, taking care of small concerns as they pop up stops you from having large repair bills down the road.
Protect Your Rights
Although proper vehicle maintenance can often prevent accidents, you can’t always account for the actions of others. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Holzer Edwards are dedicated to representing Idaho residents who have been injured due to the negligence of others. If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident, please call (208) 386-9119 or toll-free at (888) 490-0992 for a free consultation.