Your vehicle is a complex machine that uses many different mechanisms to function. Keeping your vehicle well maintained is the absolute best way to help prevent vehicle accidents (if you are already a safe driver!)
Vehicle maintenance can be expensive, and difficult to manage if you only have one vehicle. Although these are understandable reasons to neglect to do car repairs and maintenance, they shouldn’t be! Regular car maintenance can reduce the cost of future repairs significantly since you may catch issues before they become large and expensive.
When your car isn’t working at optimal condition, you are risking vehicle accidents and injury that would otherwise have been avoided.
Here is our list of 4 important vehicle parts to ALWAYS keep maintained!
1.) Have Regular Brake Check-Ups
Brake maintenance is critical. Not only is it a safety hazard for yourself, but it is also a safety hazard for others. When you need to stop for a car slamming on their brakes in front of you, or are driving in bad weather conditions and your brakes just aren’t working appropriately, the lack of the ability to stop or slow down in time can cause huge damage.
If you hear squeaks, grinds, or any sound of metal on metal when you hit the brakes, you should take your vehicle to the shop ASAP. Brakes are almost always easily replaced and maintained, but if you let a brake get worn down too much or is misaligned, you can cause expensive damage to your vehicle.
2.) Check Tire Pressure and Wear Regularly
Similar to brakes, tires should be regularly filled, and maintained. Stopping in bad driving conditions like rain, snow, heavy traffic can be difficult as it is. A brand new tire will feel drastically different than a worn tire, and it could mean the difference between stopping short, or rear-ending that person in front of you.
Aside from safety, keeping your tires inflated to the correct PSI will reduce your gas mileage, and help with alignment and other car functions not directly related to tires, but rely on them to be filled correctly!
3.) Keep Lights and Blinkers Functional
Having broken and burnt out lights is not only illegal, but it is unsafe. Sometimes your vehicle’s lights are the only visible thing on the road, without them someone may look both ways and pull into an intersection without seeing you. With the internet at our fingertips, a lot of car maintenance is easier than ever.
Looking up your make and model online can give you all the information you need to change your lights without having to take your car into the shop.
Until the day that cars can communicate with each other which direction they will go electronically, we have to do it manually. This means making sure that the electronics in the car are always functioning, and the lights are always working. Some of the most common, and most damaging accidents are lane changes and passing vehicles. You should use your blinker to indicate a lane change, or if you are passing a vehicle BEFORE taking the action. This gives those around you time to react to your decision.
4.) Always Adjust and Clean Mirrors
last, but certainly not least, is proper mirror maintenance. You should always make adjustments to mirrors before you begin your trip. Mirrors are great tools that allow you to have a better understanding of your surroundings without having to turn your head behind and around you. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t turn your head, but when you are driving down the road, you can look in your mirrors with little effort, while gaining a better idea of ways you can continue to drive safe.