Cars are complex machines, and a lot can go wrong with them, particularly if they are not well maintained. Of course things can go wrong with a car without any fault on your part, particularly if you bought it second hand and did not check it thoroughly. Every now and then you should check all parts of your car are working properly. Otherwise, you may find yourself broken down at the side of the road on a cold night, in the not too distant future.
The Bounce And Roll Test
This is a test of your car’s suspension that can be quite fun and certainly makes us laugh every time we do it. Unfortunately the more fun this is, the more likely your car needs a repair. To do it, put your handbrake on and switch the car off. Or, put your car into park. Next lean forward with all your weight on the front and back, bouncing the car. Wait and see how long it takes for the car to stop moving. If it takes more than three bounces, you may want to check your car in with a local auto mechanic. If your car is in perfect working order it will barely move when you bounce it.
It is quite simple to check the tire pressure of the car, but again it does look quite silly. All you really need to do is kick each of the tires firmly. You need to make sure that you do not feel any give on your foot. A more technical way to do it is with a tire pressure gauge, but this is usually not necessary. You are not checking for a flat tire, and any loss of air will be minimal and will not making driving dangerous. If you do have a flat tire, you will feel it as soon as the car starts to move. It will feel like you are driving over a big stone repeatedly. When you check your tires, be sure to look at the spare.
Wear And Tear
The easiest way to check your car for damages is to give it a good and thorough clean. We recommend using a pressure washer if you have one, particularly around the mud flaps and the tires. Exterior damage to a car is usually an aesthetic check and will not often affect the workings of the car. However, if it is serious such as a hole in the metal, this could cause issues with the engine further down the road. You want to get something like this repaired as soon as possible.
Halt And Burn
Obviously, the most important thing to check in a car is that the brakes are working properly. You want to know you can perform an emergency brake with a short stopping distance. You can do this two ways. You can find a deserted road and try an emergency brake, taking note of your stopping distance. Or, you can simply listen to your brakes and check for smells. If a brake pad has worn away, it will usually squeak or start to smell like something burning. Again, if you experience this, get your car fixed immediately.
There are other checks you should regularly be doing with your car, but we have tackled the important issues. Stay safe on the roads.