7-Point Vehicle Inspection: A Must For Every Car Owner
You’ve probably heard of 100-, 200-, even 300-point vehicle checks offered by car service centers, which may have you wondering about the necessity of certain inspection items. While those numbers may sound over-the-top (hey, businesses got to find a way to get a leg up the competition, right?) vehicle inspections as a whole, are critical to ensuring the roadworthiness of a vehicle. A roadworthy vehicle minimizes maintenance costs for the owner, while improving safety for everyone else on the road.
Inspecting seven key items in your car regularly can save you the headaches and frustration that come from a major breakdown later. CARMUDI recommends a 7-point vehicle check that includes the following items to be done at least once a week.
- Fluids – examine your vehicle on level ground and check its fluid levels, especially its coolant, engine oil, and brake fluid. Top up fluid levels that go below the ‘minimum’ line.
- Battery – make sure that the battery clamps are tight, clean and free from any signs of corrosion. Because batteries won’t tell you if they are failing, it’s best to replace your car battery every three years to avoid breakdown.
- Brakes – check that the brakes feel sharp and not mushy. Once you’re out on the road, make sure the vehicle doesn’t pull to one side whenever you apply your brakes. Otherwise, take your vehicle to a car technician to have your brakes checked and fixed.
- Tires – tire pressure and tread depth should be at optimal levels always. Look at the inside of each tire for tread wear and signs of brake fluid or grease leakage.
- Lights – broken vehicle lights are illegal in the country, although you wouldn’t know it with so many of them around. Still, to avoid getting flagged by the authorities, make sure your headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signal lights are all operational, with no damage to their assembly.
- Air Conditioner – your car’s AC system is not only for your own personal comfort. It can also be critical to your safety especially during heavy downpours when your windshield starts to fog. If your AC has stopped working well or quit working altogether, have it looked at immediately by a professional.
- Wiper Blades – in time, the wiper rubber will eventually become hard and brittle, increasing the potential for annoying and visibility-reducing streaks on your windshield when it rains. Wiper blades should be replaced every six months to a year as soon as you notice a decline in driving visibility.