Welcome to Michanic’s CAR CARE SAFETY series! We are all planning our holiday road trip. So, we are sharing 10 quick DIY checks to help keep you and your family safe while on the road this festive season.
First lets pop the hood to make sure that everything engine related checks out:
1. Check Fluid Levels
This is a concern as most motorists don’t check these as often as should be done. You’ll need to check your water, oil and coolant levels. Last but not least, check the brake fluid.
Should your fluid levels be low, check for any leaks? Replenish to ensure that your car is safe to drive.
It’s also advisable to check for any leaks from various components and hoses underneath your car. If you see any oil, coolant spots or shiny texture liquids on the ground, have one of our mechanics come to you to do a diagnostic test and attend.
2. Check Belts and Hoses
You don’t want to get stuck from broken or damaged hoses, as this can cause engine overheating, loss of power steering and loss of electrical charging. This could lead to hours, even days out of your trip expensive repairs that would ruin your holiday!
Road trips may take you through unfamiliar regions of the country, with different weather and night driving conditions. So next to check are:
3. Internal and External mirrors
We all know how hectic the traffic gets during this time to year. So you must be able to clearly see your surroundings! Make sure that your rear-view mirror, external mirrors and blind-spot mirrors are positioned correctly for the driver and are not obstructed.
4. Check Lights
Check that all your lights are working correctly! This is a simple but very important test!
Headlights (including bright beam bulbs); Fog lights; Indicators and Brake lights.
5. Wiper Inspection
When using your wipers in misty or rainy conditions, they should not leave streaks on your windshield that will impair your vision of the road. Use a windscreen washer and check if your wipers are functioning properly.
If not, replace it before setting off on your trip! Click here to check out our DIY article on how to change your Windscreen Blades! (insert hyperlink)
Do this check while driving. Steering feeling wobbly or has vibrations? This could be a number of things, from worn tyres or brake, tyre alignment being out, worn brakes or issues in the steering rack.
You can get this checked by one of our trusted mechanics before you set off.
7. Wheel Check
Your tyres are extremely important as this is what connects the rest of the car to the road. So to ensure safe driving, your tyres need to:
- Be inflated to the right pressure (specific to your vehicle, tyre size and weight of the car after being loaded)
- Do NOT over inflate or under inflate to avoid side and edge wear
- Tyre Thread depth – check that it is a minimum of 5mm thick
NB: Make sure you have a spare wheel! Don’t forget to check the condition of it and make sure it’s inflated to correct pressure.
8. Battery Inspection
Make sure your battery connectors are tightly fastened. Also, check that the battery voltage is still at an optimal level.
Should you see any warning signs such as dimming of lights while idling or clicking when starting ignition, it may be time to get the battery changed.
To check brake pad wear without removing the tire, look at your brake pads through the spaces between the wheel’s spokes.
The outside pad will be pressed against a metal disc. Make sure you have at least 50 mm left of the pad.
If you see less than 50 mm of the pad, you should have your brake pads inspected or replaced.
For further insight, click here to read our article on how to identify some signs to look for to know when to replace brake pads.
As the driver, you are carrying precious cargo! So be responsible for the safe handling of the vehicle!
- Get enough rest and Take breaks every 2 hrs.
- Don’t drink or text and drive!
- Don’t speed!
We hope this series helps keep you safe on the roads this holiday season! If you need assistance, or would like peace of mind for your upcoming road trip just click here for our special on Safety Inspection (*valid until 31st December 2019) and one of our trusted mechanics will come to you.
Michanic is dedicated to providing the most convenient services for our customers, so if you have any other questions or concerns regarding your car, feel free to talk to our customer service team through email at [email protected], or by phone on 087 803 9000.