Would your car be ready if you had to leave at a moment’s notice? If you were stranded in your car, would you be prepared?
Emergencies and natural disasters come in a variety of forms, and you don’t always have time to prepare. It is important to remember to perform regular maintenance and do-it-yourself checks on your car, as well as have a stocked emergency kit. This gives you peace of mind to know that your vehicle is always ready for the task.
It is recommended to check the following to make sure your car is ready for the unexpected:
Tire tread helps your car grip the road. Having low tire tread is especially dangerous when driving in wet, flood-like, snowy or icy conditions. Check your tread easily with a penny.
Pressure that is too low or too high can affect gas mileage, tread wear and vehicle performance. Check your tires once a month when they are still cold, using the PSI (pounds per square inch) number located on the driver door or in the owner’s manual.
Check your car’s fluids once a month or take a peek when you fill the gas tank. Top off fluids, such as your oil and coolant, and visit a technician if you suspect a leak.
A broken engine belt can literally stop you in your tracks. Look for signs of excessive wear or looseness.
Your vehicle’s brakes are very important for safety; make sure they are ready in any condition. Have your brakes inspected by a technician once a year, and be aware of any signs of brake trouble, including noise, pulling and vibration while braking.
Even in a non-emergency, it is stressful when your car does not start. Extreme temperatures, such as summer and winter, can wear the battery. A technician can test that the battery is charging at the correct rate. If your battery is three years or older, it may need to be replaced.
Have an emergency kit ready to go in your car. A vehicle emergency kit should include the following:
- Jumper cables
- Road atlas or map
- First-aid kit
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Non-perishable food