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
- 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.
- 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.
- Extra coolant, brake and transmission fluid and engine oil.
- Booster cables.
- A charged cell phone in case of a breakdown or other emergency.
- Small tool kit.
- First aid kit.
- Flashlight and batteries.
- Road flares.
- Small fire extinguisher.
- Tire gauge.
- Bottled water.
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.