Maintain your car with 4 easy DIY safety checks
Bit shy around your car? There’s no need! Why not get to know your car a little better and supplement your regular mechanic services with some regular safety checks you can perform yourself. You’ll not only become more car-savvy, but you’ll make sure your car is maintained in between your regular service. Here are the most common car safety checks you could simply do at home.
Checking the oil of your vehicle should be something you do as regularly as every week. Car oil makes sure engine parts are lubricated and working smoothly. To check oil levels, park your car on level ground and wait for it to settle, then remove the dipstick under your hood. Wipe this clean and pop it back inside the pipe. Once you pull it back out you’ll be able to see the level of the oil where the oil film has set. If it’s between the two marks you’re all good to go. If not, you’ll need to top it up. Simple!
Don’t forget to make sure the water is also sitting in between the minimum and maximum markings. Watch out for oil and fluid marking on your garage floor as this can help you spot a leak that needs attention.
Tyres ensure that you are gripping to the road safely. Make sure to check that your tyres are not deflated or over inflated as this can affect the grip. You can do this at most service or petrol stations across Australia, just look for the air pump and follow the instructions on it. If you’re reading is high, you’ll be able to loosen the air pressure gauge to release air, or add extra air.
Whilst checking tyres, look at their condition and the wear and depth of your tread. You can arrange for your tyres to be rotated at a service station if you feel the front or back has been worn unevenly. This can help get more life out of them. If the tread is fading, make sure to get a full tyre replacement.
Also, don’t forget to check you have a spare tyre handy and that is in good condition just in case you get a flat!
Check your lights
You might have a light out and not even know it, which is very dangerous when it comes to visibility on the roads. Make sure all of your exterior lighting on the car is working. This is easy to check - turn on your lights and make sure you see the lights reflecting on a wall. You can also ask someone to take a look whilst the vehicle is stationary.
Check seat belts
Seat belts are extremely important when it comes to safety. They can restrain you and your passengers in the event of an accident, and as a result can prevent serious injury. Seat belts are designed to spread force of impact across the stronger sections of the body, prevent occupants from being thrown from the car, and they are also designed to work together with airbags in most modern cars to reduce the impact of collisions.
Make sure your seat belts are working properly by checking their condition. Any seatbelts which are worn, damaged, or weathered by the sun need to be replaced. You can also test seatbelts by pulling sharply on them. If they resist, they are in working order.
Other car safety checks you can perform yourself include making sure you have no chips and cracks in your glass surfaces and mirrors, making sure your wipers are working well, test sounding your horn, and making sure your handbrake is working by test activating it on a steep hill.
For some things, like your regular car servicing and more complicated maintenance and repairs, it’s necessary to visit a mechanic who can perform the work correctly and safely. However, some car safety checks can certainly be done yourself. It’s a great idea to familiarise yourself with common checks in order to save money, become more knowledgeable about your vehicle, and for the convenience of being able to do it at home yourself.
If you’d like to find out about Car Insurance, contact CGU today on 13 24 81.