Cars are technical machines that, like any other, should be properly inspected before being put to use. These checks ensure that your car is not only roadworthy but also technically capable of working as it is supposed to. Before leaving the house with your car, there are certain areas that you need to check to ensure that they are within the permissible levels and standards. These areas include the exterior, the functionality checks, and the accessories checks.
Exterior checks are the checks that inspect the car’s outer parts to ensure that they are technically functional. One of the exterior checks that you should inspect is the car’s driving mirrors. All the three technical mirrors including the two side mirrors and one rearview mirror should be checked to ensure that they are positioned appropriately for optimal viewership and usability when driving. If any of the mirrors are out of position, always check to ensure that the seat is properly adjusted for optimal comfortable driving position before adjusting the mirror with an appropriate tilt.
Another exterior check that should be done on the car includes the functionality of the car’s visibility systems including the light systems and the reflectors. Among the light checks that you should inspect include the headlights to ensure that they are functional and the signal lights to ensure that they indicate appropriately. Such inspections are necessary as sometimes the bulbs blow out or suffer an electrical short circuit. The car’s reflectors should also be inspected for proper positioning as required by the law. The rear and front number plates should also be appropriately visible per the traffic laws of nearly every country.
The last exterior check that should be done is on the tires. The tires should be appropriately inflated to the required pressure. If the tire is underinflated or overinflated, appropriate adjustment should be made at the gas station.
Functionality checks include checks on the areas of the car that support its functions. These checks include the coolant fluid levels, engine oil levels, the Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) levels, and the brake fluid levels. The engine oil and ATF checks should be done using their corresponding dipsticks. If the levels are below the required marks, an appropriate measure should be taken to refill them accordingly. Driving the car under low levels of the engine fluids would incur huge damage on the engine and gearbox, such as causing an engine knock and unprecedented overheating.
Other functional parts of the car that you should check include the timing belt. The checks should ensure that the belt is free of signs of cracking that normally manifest due to being overused or the car kept under unsuitable conditions. Most timing belts have a limit of up to 100,000 miles and sometimes escape the attention during inspection.
Accessories in a car are very important as they define your ability to resume normal functionality whenever you break down on the road. Among the accessories that you should check to ensure that you have them in your car is the jack. Leaving without the jack is risky as you would not be able to change a car tire in case of a tire blow out. You should also check to ensure that you have a properly inflated spare tire and a lug wrench, a pry bar, and wheel chocks. These accessories would ensure that you can change your car tire when appropriate.
Additional important accessories include a tow cable to ensure you can be towed in case you break down on the road, a flashlight, an emergency kit, a pair of lifesaver signs, an emergency jump starter battery and a jumper cable. Whereas these are the basic accessories required to make your road trip comfortable, you can also have additional but optional accessories such as GPS navigation devices among others.
Before starting the car, systemic checks are important to ensure that your car is roadworthy and that you are appropriately equipped for the journey ahead. You should make it a habit of checking the car’s interior and exterior to ensure that it contains all the parts suitable to make the journey a success. Failure to undertake the checks can put you on the wrong side of the law.