I’m sure all of you have seen those safety adds and signs at gas stations telling you to be safe on the roads. Many people look at those signs and trust in themselves that they are good drivers. This might be the case and there are many other there that really are great drivers, but so many people are concerned about their own driving that they completely forget about the car they are driving.
Unfortunately, there are so many things that can go wrong while driving, which has nothing to do with the way you drive or how safe you are on the road. In this article we will look at those safety requirements and how to get yourself and your car in perfect condition for every trip.
There are a few things you would need to check before hitting the road. Some people do not know what these different things are or how to fill them, in which case I recommend taking your car for a quick check up at the mechanic or someone who knows a bit more about cars.
Be sure to check your coolant level before setting off on a long drive. These are usually sealed units, which means the amount of liquid should never drop. If it does, be sure to check it out as there might be a leak. This leak might not be visible when the car is cold as the system builds pressure once headed up.
When checking the level make sure the car has not been running for long as the steam can cause quite a nasty burn. Also, be sure to add coolant liquid and not just water. The coolant stops the water from boiling and freezing.
Oil is fairly easy to check as you simply need to locate the dip stick. This is usually a brightly coloured handle in the engine bay, which you can pull on and remove a long wire or plastic stick covered in oil. Some cars used a screw cap, which is also located in the same place (usually in the center front of the engine).
On the stick you will find indicators towards the end. Be sure to clean the stick and sticking it back in the car and out again for an accurate reading. Ensure the level is within the indicators. If you have been driving the car within the last few minutes, you might find the level is a bit low, which simply indicates the oil has not settled after the drive. However, the level should never be below the indicator, even after a drive.
Belts and Hoses
On the side of your engine you will find 2 belts, so cars might have more and with others you won’t be able to see those belts. If you can see them, make sure they are in good condition and not too lose. These belts should have a bit of play, but not much. A good test is to take the belt with 2 fingers and try to twist it as far as possible. If you can’t twist it more than 90 degrees it’s perfect, but you should be able to twist it to about that point.
To check the hoses, start the car and let it run for a few minutes. Once it has reached its normal temperature you will be able to see any lose hose clamps easily as they will leak. Do not touch anything while the car is hot as burns can occur very easily.