Basic vehicle safety checklist

Taking care of your vehicle is as important for keeping you on the road and getting where you want to go as it is for your safety. Your vehicle needs to be regularly checked to avoid a potential accident or expense. Having your vehicle regularly checked and serviced could be the difference between a minor repair job and a serious and expensive repair.

It is the responsibility of the owner and/or driver of a vehicle to make sure it’s in a roadworthy condition at all times.

Do you give your car a thorough check every few weeks?

If not, is it because:

  1. You have no time to do regular checks?
  2. You aren’t sure how to do it?
  3. You prefer hiring a professional instead of tackling the issue yourself?

Many drivers consider servicing an unnecessary expense. The cost, however, depends on how well maintained your vehicle is before its entry into a garage for repair.

Why is it important to maintain your vehicle?

  1. To highlight any arising issues and to react in good time
  2. To keep you safe and in control on the road
  3. To prolong the life of your vehicle’s engine  
  4. To save money in the long run
  5. To save lives in the long run

John Banks encourages drivers to present their vehicles for a free check-up at John Banks First Stop in Turners Cross Cork.

“The little things mean the most. We pick up on the little things as soon as the drivers drive in. These are the small yet important things that the drivers might not notice themselves”, John said.

He advises drivers to pay special attention to tyres and to show up at a local garage for regular checks every three months.

The Road Safety Authority offers 12 practical safety checks to carry out on your vehicle:

  1. TYRES

Examine the condition of all tyres. Check your tyres for the correct inflation pressure and tread depth. A tyre pressure gauge is an affordable and easy to use tool that can prevent a tyre going flat.

  1. BATTERY

Worn out and flat batteries are one of the most common causes of breakdowns in Ireland. Ensure your battery is checked regularly.

  1. LIGHTS

Check all lights regularly and replace bulbs as necessary. It’s important to keep all lights clean and to replace any damaged lenses.

  1. ENGINE OIL LEVEL

Failure to maintain the correct oil level and carry out the necessary oil or filter changes can result in costly engine damage. Why wait for the red oil pressure warning light to come on when you can easily check the engine oil dipstick level. The oil level should be between the maximum mark and minimum mark.

  1. COOLANT & ANTIFREEZE

Your vehicle relies on the right levels of the fluids it needs. Check the coolant level in your vehicle as a low coolant level can result in your engine overheating.

  1. POWER STEERING FLUID

The level of the fluid in the tank should read between the maximum and minimum markings. The owner’s manual will tell you the correct power steering fluid to use for your vehicle.

  1. BRAKE FLUID

Check the brake fluid level in your vehicle. Look out for tell tale signs of warning brakes such as the spongy brake pedal, noises in the form of scraping and squealing when the brakes are applied, and the vehicle pulling to the left or right when the brakes are applied. If the brake fluid level is at or below minimum level – contact your garage immediately.

  1. WINDSCREEN WASH

Check the level of windscreen wash regularly and top up as necessary.

  1. WINDSCREEN AND WIPERS

All window cleaning and demisting equipment need to be fully operational.

  1. SAFETY KIT

The RSA recommends that motorists carry a number of essentials in the boot of their car, such as high visibility vests, a working torch, a hazard warning triangle, de-icing equipment and first aid kit.

Be prepared for all eventualities!

  1. TOOL KIT

Check that all necessary parts such as the car jack, axle stands, wheel brace etc. are in the kit. Familiarise yourself with how these are operated.

  1. WARNING LIGHTS

Examine the vehicle dashboard for warning lights. Yellow lights mean – check as soon as possible, while red lights mean – stop vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so.

For in-depth explanations and video demonstrations of these checks DOWNLOAD this PDF – RSA 12 Safety Car checks.

 

At First Stop Tyre and Car Services, we encourage you to start performing basic vehicle safety checks, however, add our number to your phone in case if a more serious problem arises. We will happily assist you and make sure your vehicle is well maintained and in roadworthy condition. 

Find your local First Stop Centre now.