Prevention is better than cure. I don’t know about you, but I really believe that statement. Whoever said those magical words is brilliant person who actually thinks practically. The statement doesn’t only talk about a person’s health. Car owners should also think about the fitness of their car. Yes, owners also need to monitor their car’s shape in order to experience great engine efficiency and excellent car performance. But how do you exactly prevent a car’s easy wreck? Keep an everyday preventive maintenance checklist. These are the major aspects of your vehicle that should be given preventive maintenance; check them every day before starting your car.
• Battery. Each cell is the chamber of the heart of all electrical systems. Failure of this would prevent your car from starting. Check water level (for non-maintenance free batteries) and dirt or sludge on the connecting poles.
• Brakes. This is the most significant mechanical device that controls your car. Check them, both foot brake and hand brake, regularly.
• Lights. This is one of the most important parts of your vehicle because this is the only guide you have in the dark, especially when you’re driving at night. Be sure to check all lights – front, rear, brake, signal, hazard – by turning them on before you leave, especially in long trips.
• Oil. This is the blood life of your lubricating system. It provides protection to your engine, especially those with metal to metal contact. You don’t want your car to suffer from Arthritis, do you? Lubrication is a vital aspect of your vehicle. Change them regularly together with the oil filter.
• Water. Imagine yourself running for a long time. Now what’s the first thing you will look for when you reach a convenient store? Refreshments! Water provides the coolness that the engine requires after a long use. Checking the water level of the radiator will prevent overheating, most especially during the summer season, so better check regularly.
• Fuel. As humans can’t go on with their daily activities without food, so as your car – gas allows your car to run. It is a combustible substance that provides energy to your car. Considering the traffic nowadays, you cannot afford to have your fuel at the minimum level. Otherwise you will use it up and run out of gas while in traffic. Visit the nearest gas station when needed. Remember to put the correct fuel for your engine. Otherwise, your car will not perform efficiently.
• Fluids. Observe how easily manufactured well-maintained cars are, and how they smoothly come to a stop upon stepping on the break,. This is the magic of steering and brake fluids. Car fluids are supposed to be checked regularly for a trouble-free ride. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to use eco-friendly fluids to protect our environment.
• Accessories. Radiators, mufflers, and leafsprings are just some car accessories in need for a possible wear and tear. Every little damage that might happen to any of the car accessories would make a difference in your driving comfort.
• Tires. Rotate your tires approximately every 10,000 kms. Moreover, check the air pressure of your tire. Ensure that the front and rear tires have the same pressure.
• Tools. Bring the necessary paraphernalia like tire wrench, jack, jack handle, screw driver (flathead and Philip’s) pliers, adjustable wrench sizes 10 and 12, open and close wrench, and an Early Warning Device (EWD). This will be handy, especially if your car breaks down in the middle of your journey. And of course, don’t hesitate to call road assistance.
• Cleanliness. It is true that it’s next to godliness. I’m pretty sure you don’t want your car to look so filthy. It is a preventive tool, since in the process of cleaning, defects and damages are often discovered. Cleanliness of the automobile reflects the personality of the owner.
• Horn. A type of a warning signal, horns are very valuable to both drivers and pedestrians. In fact, horns are actually used more often than that of other warning signals. But car horns get damaged too. One day, they may stop honking and there’s nothing you can do but to get them replaced. Look for stuck debris and dislodged pieces of plastic around the horn, these things can cause a horn to stop working properly. Checking your car horn will also allow you to check your steering wheel, since the horn is attached directly to the steering wheel. Well, talk about hitting two birds with one stone, eh?
Too many to remember? Let me give you an acronym, BBLOWFFATTCH or simply BLOWFATCH. That way, you will not forget to recall these aspects of your car. Write these things on a piece of paper and pin it somewhere in your garage. If you have time, you can even create a photocopy print outs of the checklist. Maybe you can even add some more on to the list to make you more preventive.