Car Safety Tips: Evaluating the Safety of Your Vehicle
Is Your Car Safe? Find the Best Family Cars at Zeck Ford Near Kansas City
How many times in your life have you climbed into your vehicle and headed down the road without a second thought and without running through a quick vehicle safety checklist? It’s probably thousands at this point! You no longer check your mirrors, scan the dashboard for warning lights, or take a glance at your tires before hitting the unlock button on your keyfob.
But driving is one of the most – if not the most – dangerous activity you could do. That’s why it’s worthwhile to go over a quick safety checklist, even a mental one, every few trips you take, before you put your vehicle into gear. Doing so could prevent injury or damage to your vehicle.
Here’s a brief list of safety checks you can perform on your vehicle without needing advanced knowledge.
Research Cars with Best Safety Ratings
Before you ever purchase a vehicle, use the Internet to research makes and models you’re considering. Look up safety test ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and narrow your choices down to vehicles that achieved high marks on one or both of these tests.
If you buy a car that’s safe in the first place, you’ll feel confident every time you get behind the wheel, especially if you have your family riding along with you.
Check Your Tires and the Tire Pressure
Even a passing glance at your vehicle is enough to notice whether you have a serious tire issue. So why not spend a couple more seconds examining your car’s tires?
Check the tread depth of your tires, and look for signs of wear, like cracking sidewalls and leaks. If you notice any issues, be sure to make an appointment at your car service center to purchase new tires or for tire repair. Zeck Ford is a great place to buy new tires, thanks to our low-price tire guarantee.
You also should make sure your tires are aired to the right psi. For many passenger vehicles, this is about 35, but check your owner’s manual for details. If you don’t have a tire pressure gauge, newer vehicles have a function built into the dash that shows you the tire pressure for each tire on your vehicle.
Low tire pressure affects how your car handles and hugs the road. Over-inflated tires are at risk of blowing out. Always be sure that yours are inflated properly for safety.
Look Under the Car
It might not be easy to bed down and crawl under your car, but you should be checking beneath where your car is parked. Leave your car in one place overnight or for a period of time. Then, back your vehicle out of the spot and take a look at any liquids that may be pooling underneath.
If it’s water, it’s likely condensation from your air conditioner. But if it’s antifreeze, brake fluid, transmission fluid, oil, or gasoline, you need to see a mechanic right away.
Each of these fluids are necessary for proper function of your engine, transmission, and brakes. Without enough of them, you’re at risk of damaging the mechanical parts of your vehicle or getting into a car accident.
This is also an excellent time to check your fluid levels and top them off, if needed. You can, of course, see a certified mechanic, like those at the Zeck Ford service center, if you need help.
Check Your Battery, Belts, and Hoses
While the hood is up because you checked the fluids, take a look at your battery, belts, and hoses, too.
Check the battery for signs of corrosion, a white crusty-looking build-up. Look for any obviously frayed or damaged belts or holes in your hoses. If you spot any issues, it’s time to visit your local auto repair shop in Leavenworth, Kansas.
Do Your Lights Work?
Your headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals are actually safety features of your family car. They allow you to see in the dark, and help others understand where you’re driving, whether you’re slowing down, or turning.
Grab a friend or family member to check your lights for you. While they’re standing in front, turn your headlights on. Then, try both your turn signals. Have them step to the back of the car, and check your taillights, brake lights, and turn signals there, too.
If one of your light bulbs is burned out, you can replace it yourself fairly easily. If you’d rather leave it to a pro, head to the Quick Lane Service Center at Zeck Ford for this quick repair.
While you’re sitting behind the wheel, testing the exterior lights of your vehicle, you should take a glance at your dashboard and see if any warning lights are lit up. If there are, bring it up with your mechanic.
Test Your Windshield Wipers
The middle of a rainstorm is a heck of a time to find out you need new windshield wipers. Test them out regularly so you know when to replace them.
Spray your windshield cleaning fluid, and watch your wipers go to work. If they skip across the surface of the glass, make squealing noises, or leave streaks or smears, it’s time to replace them.
If you have a rear windshield wiper system, be sure to test it, too. Manually spray on regular glass cleaner and activate the wipers to see how they’re working.
A clear view from your windshield and back window lets you see the roadway and any obstacles ahead of you, so you can react quickly to issues, avoid debris, and get to your destination safely.
Where to Buy the Safest Family Cars
If you’re in the market for a new or used family car, your first shopping trip should be to Zeck Ford in Leavenworth, Kansas. We take great pride in the quality of vehicles we offer for sale, so much that if they can’t pass our rigorous 120-point inspection, you’ll never see them on our lot. This is just one way we ensure you can find the safest family cars in the Kansas City metro area!
And because you can’t compromise on safety, we won’t make you compromise on the price of the vehicle you’re interested in. We list our vehicles for a fair price in the first place, so you don’t have to haggle to get your family into a safer vehicle. The price you see is exactly the price you get.
So when it’s time to upgrade the family ride or take care of your current one, visit Zeck Ford on S. 4th Street in Leavenworth, Kansas.