4 DIY Vehicle Safety Checks to Perform on a Regular Basis

diy-carcareNow that school is starting and the hustle and bustle of the fall is getting underway, it’s important to make sure your vehicle is safe for the whole family. If you have your vehicle serviced regularly, it is rare that you will ever run into any surprises. At the same time, there are a few things that every vehicle owner should watch out for.

Windshield Wipers

You may not notice anything wrong with your wipers on a sunny day. If you have not replaced your wiper blades recently, make sure that they are aligned and functioning correctly. Pour some water on your windshield and turn on the wipers to see if you notice any streaks or missed areas—this can be a hazard if you discover it when the rain starts to fall.

Tire Pressure

Most newer vehicles come equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), which will illuminate a dash panel warning light. If you have an older vehicle without TPMS, it’s a good idea to check your tire pressure manually with a pneumatic gauge once a week. Be sure to look up the manufacturer’s recommended pressure setting for your specific tires.

Headlights, Brake Lights and Turn Signal Lights

Most states require an annual safety inspection (and North Carolina does). Vehicles generally fail inspection if any of the exterior lights do not work. The bulbs can burn out at any time, and it is not always obvious when this happens. Make a habit of checking your lights to make sure that they are functioning properly.

Engine Oil Pressure

If your vehicle has more than 100,000 miles on it, there’s a good chance you may need to add oil in between oil changes. Some older vehicles have slight oil leaks or may burn oil. Don’t wait for the oil pressure light to come on! Check your oil with a dipstick to make sure that there is enough lubricant in the oil pan and add oil as needed. Be careful to avoid over-oiling.

If you have any reason to believe that a safety feature may not be functioning properly, it is always best to have your car checked by a qualified mechanic. Bring your vehicle by any of our three convenient Triangle locations and we’ll keep your vehicle operating safely.