Your automobile needs and deserves proper maintenance if you want it to be able to perform to its best capabilities. More importantly, correct car care will help ensure that your vehicle can protect you in case of a crash.
AAA wants to remind all drivers this October with Fall Car Care Month to see if their vehicles need some maintenance. Most people will only maintain their cars once a year or less, which might not be often enough. Car Care Month also usually has a focus on winter-related precautions, like packing tire chains in case of snow. Here in Orlando, Florida, the home of Todd Miner Law, we do not really need to worry about snowfall and freezing temperatures. Still, the hints and advice discussed in this biannual campaign are worth knowing for all drivers in all states.
Some of the most important car parts on the Car Care Checklist from AAA are:
- Battery: Your automobile cannot do too much without a working battery. Getting caught on a distant road with no power to your vehicle can be quite dangerous, too. The first thing you should do for your Fall Car Care Checklist is to check the condition of your battery. If you have not replaced the battery in several years, then it might almost be time to replace it.
- Brakes: You cannot safely drive any vehicle that does not have a properly maintained brake system. Test your brakes by slowly driving around your neighborhood or a parking lot. Listen for any unusual sounds like sharp squeaks and feel for delays between applying the brake and slowing down. If you suspect anything is wrong, then you should call a mechanic.
- Coolant: In a Florida winter, overheating your vehicle is still a very real possibility. Coolant is necessary to keep the engine’s temperature within an acceptable level. If you are familiar with the design of your car’s engine, then you can check the coolant levels as long as the engine is cold.
- Lights: Don’t forget all of the lights throughout your vehicle, not just the headlights. Taillights, brake lights, emergency lights, turn signals, and more should all be checked. Replacing bulbs that have burnt out is usually simple. However, like most things on the Car Care Checklist, you should leave the maintenance up to a professional if you do not know what to do yourself.
- Tires: The tires on your car need to be in top condition at all times because they literally keep you on the road. Check the treading to see if it is getting too thin or frayed. Check the tire pressure, too, using a tire gauge. You can check on the bottom panel inside the driver’s side door – usually near the seat adjustment handle – for information regarding the correct tire pressure levels for your vehicle and tire type.
- Wipers: Few things are worse than being caught in a rainstorm with broken or defective windshield wipers. Ensure that your wiper blades are fully functional and cleanly wipe off all water as they should. While you are checking the wipers, check the wiper fluid, too.
Safety Kit in Case of Emergency
One more important note of Car Care Month is creating and maintaining an emergency kit for your vehicle. You never know when there will be a car accident or another disaster that will put you in a dangerous situation while on the road. With a proper emergency kit in your car, you will have a better chance of being prepared for what needs to be done to keep everyone safe.
Your emergency kit should include many items, including but not limited to:
- Nonperishable food
- Basic toolkit
- Blanket or jacket
- First-aid kit
- Flashlight and radio with batteries
- Jumper cables
- Road flares
From everyone at Todd Miner Law, we wish you the safest travels and hope that the AAA Car Care Month this October has provided you with some useful tips. Please remember that if you are ever blindsided by a reckless driver in Orlando and need legal help, our team will be standing by. Dial (407) 269-5877 at any time.