Tips to Make Sure Your Vehicle is Safe
Find Cars with the Best Safety Ratings at Zeck Ford in Oklahoma
Before heading out with the family in your vehicle, you’ll want to perform maintenance and continual upkeep to ensure it’s in good condition.
The safest family vehicle tops everyone’s wish list, and there are a few things you can do before long road trips – and periodically throughout the year – to keep yours as safe as possible.
Tire Condition and Pressure
It’s easy to overlook proper tire care, especially when the signs of needing new tires isn’t always super obvious. While worn-out tires can negatively affect the way your car, truck, or SUV rides and drives, it doesn’t necessarily make a scary noise or feel drastically different when you’re behind the wheel.
First, check the condition of your tires. If they’re bald – meaning they have no tread left – it’s urgent that you replace them, since these are responsible for gripping the road.
If the tread on your tires are wearing thin, and you can see the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head when you insert a penny between the treads, then it’s time to replace your tires, too.
When checking the condition of your tires, you’ll also want to be on the lookout for anything stuck in them, leaks, holes, tears, cracking, or other issues.
Next, check the tires pressure using a pressure gauge. Find out what PSI your tires should be aired up to, and add air to reach that number. You can learn more about the required PSI on the sidewall of your tires or in your car’s owner’s manual.
If your tires aren’t holding air, it’s probably time for new ones. If they hold air just fine, and you’ve filled them to the proper PSI, then you can be assured your tires are as safe as possible.
Take a Look Under the Hood
Pop the hood and see where the magic happens. All the equipment under the hood plays a key role in just how safe your vehicle is.
First, check the fluids, especially your oil and transmission fluid. You should also check your windshield wiper cleaner and antifreeze while you’re at it. Replace fluids that need refilling.
Next, visually inspect the hoses and belts that you can see. If any are very obviously damaged, make an appointment at the Zeck Ford service center to have them replaced. If your belts or hoses break, you might find yourself stranded in your safe family car on the side of the road.
In many modern vehicles, the battery also is located under the hood. If yours is, you’ll want to take a look at it. Watch for any corrosion and check that the battery is firmly connected. If your battery isn’t located under the hood of your vehicle, then locate it and check it over. If your battery isn’t in the best shape, you might consider replacing it.
Look at the Lights
Your headlights, tail lights, and turn signals are some of the most important basic safety features your vehicle comes equipped with. Lights help you see and be seen, so check that all of them are in good working order. You may need assistance from a second person to verify all your lights are working, especially your brake lights and turn signals.
Other lights you should check for are any warning lights on the dashboard. These are not normally lit unless there is an issue with your vehicle. If your check-engine light or other warning light comes on, make an appointment with your mechanic to get it checked out.
Watch for Leaks
A good indicator that something’s up with your vehicle is the presence of fluids underneath it after it’s been parked. A puddle can indicate there’s a leak. Antifreeze, brake fluid, transmission fluid, or even oil leaks are problems that should be addressed quickly before they get worse.
Be aware that some newer cars may appear to have leaks, but it is really just condensation from the air conditioner. Know the difference between water and vehicle fluids.
Change Your Windshield Wiper Blades
Windshield wipers keep your vision clear in inclement weather and keep your windshield clean, too.
You can test how well yours are working by spraying water or cleaner onto the exterior of your windshield, and turning on the blades. Any streaking or areas that don’t wipe cleanly away could mean that you need to replace your blades.
If your windshield wiper blades are noisy or scrape, definitely buy new blades the next time you head out to the store. They can be fairly inexpensive to replace, or you could spring for premium ones with special features, if you choose.
The Best Family Cars are at Zeck Ford
If you’re asking, “Is my car safe?” but you aren’t sure, you can bring it in for repair and maintenance to the Zeck Ford service center in Purcell, Oklahoma.
Or, if it’s time for an upgrade, one of our no-haggle, low-pressure personal shoppers can help find you a new Ford or other used vehicle for sale to keep your family safe.