As cars get more complicated with computers and more advanced components, it can be very easy to forget that certain basic features are the same with every vehicle. Oil, tires, batteries and brakes are all essential for the smooth operation of your vehicle. When looking at salvage vehicles all of these aspects should be inspected with an eye toward their successful operation. And on any car, new or old, they all need to be checked come winter time. As fall gets into full swing, it seems like a good idea to take a look at these features and how to do a basic inspection and winterizing once over.
1. Check Oil.
On any vehicle you need to make sure you have enough oil before you even turn it on. An engine with no oil or too little oil can sieze and cost a large amount in repairs. Check the amount of oil and be prepared to add more before you start the car. If you are just winterizing a car you have been driving and know well, consider changing your current oil to a thinner varient. As the temperature drops this will prevent the oil from becoming too thick to work right on startup.
2. Check your Tires and Pressure.
Make certain that all your tires are in good enough condition to drive in bad conditions. For safe operation, a tire should have at least 1/16 of an inch of tread check your tires now to make sure you have enough for good road traction. Also check what the proper air pressure for your tires is (It should be printed on the tire). Then make sure your tires have that much air. In cold weather the pressure inside the tire decreases as the air contracts. This is also a good time to check for leaks including ones that may have developed by sitting in the same place for long periods of time.
3. Check your Batteries and Electrical Cables.
Over time batteries lose their charge even when not in use. Cars that sit for long periods of time can simply have the battery die and this is especially true in cold weather. When checking your battery’s charge it is also a good idea to check your electrical cables in general. Check for signs of corrosion which can be worsened by damp weather.
4. Make sure you have enough Brake Pad.
Contemporary brake pads will make a terrible noise as they start to get low. However, the thing that makes this noise will eventually fall off. Look inside your tire or have your mechanic do so to confirm you have plenty of brake pad. If the brake doesn’t have enough of the padding it will begin to clamp on the rotor damaging it and limiting the speed and ability of the car to slow down or stop.
Regular maintenance and inspection is important. One should always verify that all the basic parts of the car are functional and in good working order. Whether you are looking at a car that you drive everyday or inspecting a car at auction before you buy it, inspecting these 4 simple things can go a long way to making you safer on the road.