Car Advice

How to perform a quick car safety check

Keeping your car in good running order might sound like a daunting prospect but it isn’t. Here’s how to perform a quick car safety check…start the clock.

How many people put fuel in their car and only ever put water in the windscreen washer bottle when they go to use it and nothing but air comes out… And hardly anybody checks their car tyres and yet they’re vital in keeping you from ending up in the bushes. So, here’s how to perform a quick car safety check.

  1. The first thing to do is a visual inspection of your car’s tyres. Get down close the wheels and tyres and look at the tread condition, and while you’re here check the tyre pressure using the tyre pressure gauge that you should absolutely have in your car; you can buy them for less than $10 so there’s no excuse. Check your spare tyre less regularly but you want to make sure it’s properly inflated for when you need it – make sure the wheel changing kit is present and in good order. Take the opportunity to check the boot latch works properly.
  2. While you’re kneeling by the wheels, have a quick look under the car for any oil or coolant leaks.
  3. Jump up and walk around to the back windscreen and make sure it’s clean, then cast an eye over the side windows and wing mirrors. From there go to the front windscreen and check that it’s clean and that there are no cracks. Check that all the windows can be lowered and raised again.
  4. After the windscreen, raise the windscreen wipers and run your fingers along them; you want to make sure they feel supple because one they feel hard to the touch they’re useless and need to be replaced or else you risk scratching your windscreen. It’s worth checking the windscreen washer works too.
  5. Raise the bonnet and take a quick look at the fluids, these should be in opaque bottles with bright coloured lids and you should be able to see the fluid levels. The one you’ll most likely need to top up regularly is the windscreen washer fluid. If you’re not confident under the bonnet then leave things like oil changes to your mechanic.
  6. The lights. Check your headlights, low and high beam are working as well as fog lights. Flick the indicators and run around the car quickly. Checking the brake lights will be trickier unless you’re parked with the rear of your car facing a wall where you’ll be able to see the reflection. That said, depending on the age of your car it’ll probably advise you if a bulb has blown with some car’s able to tell you exactly which light is not working.
  7. Finally, have a quick look at the seatbelts in the car, give them a quick tug to make sure they lock. Check the air-conditioning system works as it should and then the horn works too.

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober was born in the shadow of Mount Panorama in Bathurst and, so, it was inevitable he’d fall into work as a motoring writer. He began his motoring career in 2000 reviewing commercial vehicles, before becoming editor of Caravan & Motorhome magazine. He then moved to MOTOR Magazine before going freelance and contributing to Overlander 4WD, 4×4 Australia, TopGear Australia, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, The Australian, CARSguide, and many more.