9 Car Maintenance Tips for Keeping Your Vehicle Road-Safe

Regular maintenance and caring for your vehicle can help you avoid an accident. You don’t want to discover your car has a problem while you’re driving.

Not only can regular maintenance prevent a collision, but you can also avoid costly issues, such as electrical problems, tire blowouts, engine failure, and faulty brakes.

1. Clean Your Headlights

Many car manufacturers apply protective films to the outside of the lenses that protect your headlights. UV rays can damage this film, resulting in a yellow or foggy appearance on the lenses. This cloudy appearance can impair your visibility when you are driving at night.

Check to make sure the plastic covering on your headlights is clean. If it isn’t, you can clean it with a headlight restoration kit.

2. Check Your Tires

Keeping your tires in good condition is essential to vehicle safety, especially in conditions like rain, snow or ice.

Look for cracks in the sidewall, uneven wear or other problems that may require you to rotate, replace or align your tires. If your tire tread is significantly worn or irregular, you may need to purchase new tires.

Wheel alignment should be checked once a year. Misaligned tires will drag and will not roll freely as they are intended to do. If the wheels are out of balance, the driver will feel a pounding or shaking through the steering wheel.

You should check your tires’ air pressure once a month using a tire gauge. Cold weather can cause your tires to lose air, so be extra vigilant. You can find the recommended air pressure for your tires in the owner’s manual.

3. Check Your Brakes

Worn brake pads, fluid leaks, and other issues can also result in brake failure and cause a severe accident. Brake pads usually need to be replaced every 50,000–70,000 miles.

Squeaks, grinds, vibrations, or a slow response are signs your brakes need replacing. Keep your brake fluid levels full and check your brakes regularly.

4. Inspect Your Wiper Blades and Clean the Windshield

Poor visibility can lead to a car accident, so it’s important to make sure your wiper blades are in good condition. Check them for tears, cracks, stiffness, or other signs of wear. If you notice any of these, you may want to replace the wiper blades.

You also need to keep your wiper fluid topped off. It is important to keep your windshield clean on the inside as well as on the outside. Dirt that builds up can make it difficult to see.

5. Take Care of Your Lights

You should check that your taillights, headlights, and turn signals are working. These components are especially important when you are driving at night and in bad weather.

Malfunctioning brake lights, burned-out bulbs, and misaligned headlights are all issues you can avoid with regular vehicle maintenance.

6. Change Your Oil Regularly

Experts recommend changing your oil at least every 10,000 miles, but this can vary. Follow the recommendations in your vehicle’s service manual.

Regular oil changes are important for your vehicle’s performance. You also need to regularly check around the car and under the engine for fluid leaks.

7. Check Your Car’s Fluids and Under the Hood

Regularly check your car’s fluids, including coolant, brake, power steering, and transmission. Have your belts and hoses checked at the regular times mentioned in your owner’s manual.

Check under the hood for cracked or split spark plug wires, cracked radiator hoses or loose clamps, and corrosion around the battery terminals.

8. Take Your Car In for Regular Maintenance

Keep up with the schedule for maintenance recommended in your vehicle’s service manual. A technician can identify problems that could put you in danger on the road. Outside regular service, a body shop can also help you with any aspect of your car’s maintenance you aren’t comfortable handling yourself.

9. Keep an Emergency Kit in Your Car

In case of an emergency, it’s best to have tools on hand. Essentials you’ll want to put in your emergency kit include jumper cables, a flashlight, a spare tire, tow straps, a jack, a wrench, pliers, a screwdriver, and a first aid kit.

Call Our Firm If You’ve Been in an Accident in Birmingham

Keeping up with maintenance and driving safety helps prevent car accidents, but you could still be involved in a wreck because of another driver’s negligence. If this happens, our car accident lawyers can help you file a claim.

At Hare, Wynn, Newell, & Newton, we have won millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. Our firm has been in business for more than 130 years, and we have a national reputation for excellence. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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