If your car is due for some routine maintenance work, now is the perfect time to visit a professional service technician. Not only is October Car Safety Month, but fall is an ideal season in which to prep your vehicle for the harsh winter ahead.
BeCarCareAware.ca is promoting the importance of regular car maintenance during Car Safety Month. The organization hopes that drivers will be inspired to follow a vehicle maintenance program all year round.
Celebrating Car Safety Month with a Vehicle Inspection
One of the best ways to stay safe on the roads is to make sure that your car is well maintained. You are more likely to be involved in an accident if something on your vehicle isn't working properly. Also, preventive car care may help you to avoid costly repairs in the future.
Here are a few basic maintenance procedures that will help keep you safe behind the wheel and possibly save you some money down the road.
- Have all of your fluids checked. These include your car's engine oil and power steering, brake and transmission fluids. It is also a good idea to make sure that your vehicle's windshield washer solvent is topped off and that there is plenty of engine coolant. Please make note of the fact that there really is no set rule for how many kilometers your car can go before needing an oil change. Most modern vehicles can go longer than older models, and every brand/type has slightly different requirements. Check your owner's manual to find out what the recommended oil change frequency is for your car.
- Have your hoses and belts inspected. These should be replaced if they are cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or showing signs of excessive wear. A snapped hose or belt could lead to even greater damage to your vehicle. Or, you could get into an accident if a failure occurs while you are driving.
- Have the battery tested. You definitely don't want to be stranded with a dead battery when the weather gets cold. So, make sure that there is plenty of life in your car's battery right now. Also ask the mechanic to make sure that the connections are clean, tight and free of corrosion.
- Have the brake system looked at. It's good to get into the habit of having your brakes checked every time you go in for an oil change. Have your service technician check the brake linings and drums and/or pads and rotors. Your brake system may be your last line of defense when it comes to avoiding a collision, so you want them to always be fully operational.
- Have the exhaust system examined. To keep this system running smoothly, it is important to regularly have it checked for leaks, damage and broken supports or hangers. And if you ever notice an unusual noise coming from your vehicle, you will want to have the exhaust system looked at immediately. Exhaust leaks can be very dangerous, so they should be corrected as soon as possible.
- Have the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system gone over. At this point in the year, you are probably well aware of whether or not your air conditioning works. And you will definitely want to know that your heater is operational before you actually need it. This is also a safety issue because your car's heating function is necessary for defrosting your windshield.
- Have your tires checked. This is especially important as it starts to get cooler outside because a change in temperature can affect your vehicle's tire pressure. Also, your tires should be inspected for low tread, bulges, cupping and bald spots. You will want assurance that you will be able to get as much traction as possible before roads start to get slick. And if your tires are showing signs of uneven wear, this could indicate a need for a need for a wheel alignment.
- Have worn out wipers and burned out bulbs replaced. For the sake of safety, it is very important to be able to see and be seen. So, all interior and exterior lighting should be working properly. Wiper blades should be routinely checked because if they are worn out, your visibility could be reduced when you are driving through rain or snow.
Once you get into the habit of following a regular vehicle maintenance program, you will enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your car is in the best possible condition. You will also know that you are doing your part to keep Canada's roads safe during Car Safety Month and all throughout the year.
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