Car Safety Inspection

I drove a school bus for a short period, and while in training I learned some very useful tips that I follow before driving my car. I would like to share what I have followed ever since.

We as school bus drivers had to do the following checks on a daily basis before driving to pick up passengers. I feel it is a good habit to get into, no matter what type of vehicle you are driving.

Vehicle Walk Around

Vehicle Check

  • Do a walk around the vehicle to visually check tires to see that they are properly inflated. When in doubt use a tire gauge.
  • Check to make sure that there is no debris such as broken branches or garbage that may have accumulated around your vehicle while it was parked.
  • Check that windows are clear and clean.

Check Under The Hood

  • Check oil, transmission oil, brake fluid, coolant reservoir and windshield washer fluid levels.
  • Check belts (serpentine and timing) making sure that they are free of cracks or other damage. The timing belt should not be loose.
  • Check hoses to be sure that they are not cracked.
  • Check battery terminals to make sure they are clean and that there is no corrosion.

Useful Tips

  • With the ever changing weather conditions drivers can never be 100% sure of what lies ahead of them on their journey. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
  • During the rainy and snowy months check your local news station, weather channel or online road reports before heading out.
  • Spare tire should be in or under the vehicle and ready to use if needed.



Handy Items To Keep In The Vehicle

Make sure that your windshield washer reservoir is topped up and it is a good idea to have an extra bottle in your vehicle. If you live in a colder climate be sure to have a fluid that is rated for -40°F or Celsius, during the cold winter months.

  1. Extra coolant, brake and transmission fluid and engine oil.
  2. Booster cables.
  3. A charged cell phone in case of a breakdown or other emergency.
  4. Small tool kit.
  5. First aid kit.
  6. Flashlight and batteries.
  7. Road flares.
  8. Small fire extinguisher.
  9. Tire gauge.
  10. Bottled water.

Winter roads can get treacherous
Winter roads can get treacherous | Source

Winter Driving

In the winter months if you live where there is snow you should always have the above plus the following:

  • An ice scraper and snow brush.
  • Warm clothing and appropriate footwear.
  • A blanket.
  • Small shovel and a traction aid.


Fuel and the Gas Tank

During the winter months, in snowy areas, it is a good idea to keep your gas tank at least 1/2 full at at all times, full would be the optimum.

You never know with stormy conditions how long it will take you to defrost and warm up your vehicle.


Helpful Vehicle Items

RoadPro RPAT715 1RoadPro RPAT715 12V Rechargeable Jumpstarter Emergency System with Air Compressor and Power Inverter
RoadPro RPAT715 1RoadPro RPAT715 12V Rechargeable Jumpstarter Emergency System with Air Compressor and Power Inverter

With the RoadPro you will never again have to worry about getting stuck in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery or low tire pressure.

 

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Comments 35 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

wilderness, We drive older vehicles so I' also tend to listen to the engine once I start it up as well for any different, new or bad sounds coming from it.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Judi, It was a short lived career but I liked it as driving relaxes me. Maybe not so much with all the children but hopping in the car and going down the highway with music up is something I enjoy.


wilderness profile image

wilderness 4 years ago from Boise, Idaho

Good tips here, Susan. Very few of us (including me) do even a half a check before driving off, and fewer yet ever look under the hood for anything at all. Certainly we don't look at belts or hoses.

With winter coming on us, it is even more important; stuck with a flat tire and no spare 20 miles up a mountain isn't much fun in winter. I know.


Judi Bee profile image

Judi Bee 4 years ago from UK

I'm so impressed that you drove a bus - I hate driving! Good tips!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

kingphillipIV, Yes I read about your accident and hope that you are well. Thank you for coming by and for your comments.


kingphilipIV profile image

kingphilipIV 5 years ago from Iloilo, Philippines

This hub is very informative.. especially for me as a victim already by a car accident. I really learn a lot.. thanks for sharing this hub..:)


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Prasetio, Thanks so much for reading and for your comments and vote :)


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

I wish I could by a new car and I'll practice your tips above. Very inspiring hub. Susan, thanks for share with us. You got my vote. Have a good day. Cheers...

Prasetio


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Sue, Thanks.


Sueswan 5 years ago

I don't drive but this is very useful information.

Voted up and awesome.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Truckstop Sally, I remember teaching my sons how to parallel park. It was quite a challenge :) Thanks for your comments.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Sunshine, No snow but I've been in some of those torrential rain storms and hurricanes you have in Florida, and I almost think I like the snow better :) Thanks for your comments.

Lorna, Thank you.


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

In my state they are requiring 16 year-olds to actually drive as part of the driver's license process (not so when my 2 older kiddos got their licenses). My youngest just turned 16, and part of his test will be to show that he is checking the exterior (as you mention) and to demonstrate he knows how to turn on the lights, windshield wipers, etc. Of course, the biggest part is parallel parking. We need to keep practicing that one! Great hub. Thanks for sharing.


Lorna Van Straaten 5 years ago

I would add water too!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

Great tips Susan! I always have our cars well maintened by a shop we trust. Living in Florida we don't have to worry about snow! YAY!!! Fantastic hub!!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Ruby, Leaving a child asleep on a bus, that is scary.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Good advice Susan. We just had an incident here when a child was left on the bus. ( She was asleep ) Scary...Thank's


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

MM, Thanks for your comments and for reading. Have a great day.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Hello Susan, some great advice here, and a good reminder to 'be prepared' driving in the winter months.

Thank you for sharing, best wishes MM


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

aceblogs, Broken axle ouch! Thanks for reading and for your comments.

Alekhouse, Thank you.


alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 5 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

Really helpful hub...informative with lots of good tips.


Aceblogs profile image

Aceblogs 5 years ago from India

Very useful it is and made me remind of the fact that my car has got a broken has got a broken axle which i have to get repaired tomorrow . thanks for the tips mate !


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hyphenbird, Thanks, that would make writing it so worth it.

Seeker, Thanks so much.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

An excellent hub and many of the tips I'm sure - in the winter months especially - could potentially save a life. It's amazing how just a little more thought and a few checks can make all the difference between getting to your destination safely or being stranded!

Voted up!


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

You have some great tips in here. Thank you for such a great tutorial! Just think, your Hub can save a life or at least reduce the chance of inconvenience to someone.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

carco, Thanks for reading and for your comments.


carcro profile image

carcro 5 years ago from Winnipeg

Absolutely right, especially with our cold winters, being prepared is extremely important. Having roadside assistance, cell phones, emergency roadside kits and a properly maintained car can all save your life. Thanks for sharing your expertise!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Dave, CAA is a great thing to have. My husband and I do most of the work on our vehicles. It is something we both enjoy. Thanks for your comments.

Joan and Snurre, Thanks for reading and for your comments.


Snurre profile image

Snurre 5 years ago

Very useful tips here, Susan! A lot of drivers neglect safety and we know what becomes of them. I still can't persuade my husband to get a first aid kit for the car.


Joan Whetzel 5 years ago

Great info. Very helpful for those of us who aren't so car savvy. Thanks.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

I've been driving 48 years now. Every vehicle I owned I knew intimately, by their sound,feelings,smells,

response. I could see and feel and hear and smell, and sense if there was something not quite right. I maybe wasn't a mechanic, but I had one I trusted and used.

Also I have always kept things like safe spare tires,auto fluids, cables,flat tire stop leak,etc. on hand foe emergencies and most importantly I have CAA Premium Service plan and their emergency number on speed dial in my cell.


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

These are some very excellent tips... I have fallen into bad habits. I will check this stuff before every long trip, but usually on most days I just jump in the car. That being said.... I once blew my mom's car's engine because of a lack of oil. Yep - that was an expensive repair! But, now that you mention it... I really should get those jumper cables in there!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

RH & Flora, Thanks so much. Glad you liked the hub. I've always been mechanically inclined and spent many hours with my dad out in the garage working on his vehicles as well as re-building a car engine with Al. This weeks Inspiration Topic was one that I enjoyed doing.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

Great tips-and not an angle someone has used yet this week.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I'm sharing this on FB! Excellent tips! Getting stranded is no fun and especially for females! I constantly worry about my 23 yr old driving around alone....I packed her trunk with a kit just like you have listed as soon as she turned 16 and got her car. This would be a fabulous gift idea for parents with teen aged drivers! We left the car sitting on the lawn and I already had it in the trunk. We also showed her how to properly use a tire gauge and cables.

Love it!

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