Safety Inspections: Why You Should Do Them

Each April and October the National Car Care Council sponsors Car Care Awareness Months. The sole purpose of these campaigns is to raise awareness about the importance of taking a proactive stance when it comes to maintaining and repairing that multi-ton, self guided missile you pilot on the highways and bi-ways of your life. As a member of the Women’s Board of the Car Care Council I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to raise the awareness around here.

So, why should you do it and what exactly should a good vehicle inspection look for?

Put simply – a good safety inspection purpose is two fold. Safety and Power. Not horsepower. The power of information and choice. If you know what’s needed, now or in the future, you can plan both money and time for it. That puts you – not a breakdown – in charge of your wallet and your schedule. And we all like to be in charge now don’t we?

  • Operation:Let’s see how this baby rolls. How does it feel, sound and smell?

  • Fluids: What are the various fluid levels, and are there fluid leaks? There are five different systems (six if you count washer fluid) that rely on fluids to function as designed – and keep you safe. A failure in any one of them can be catastrophic.

  • Rubber:What does the rubber – be it tires, belts or hoses – look like? Is it dry, cracked or worn? What is the “born on” date on the tires?

  • Brakes:Do the brakes – all four wheels – operate properly, and are they in good condition? When applied, do the brake lights come on?

  • Lights:Do the headlights, high and low beam work? How about the turn signals – are they flashing, front and back, left and right? Is the tag light burned out?

  • Are the steering and suspension parts in good shape and functioning correctly?Are the wheels going to stay attached to the vehicle?

  • Maintenance:Is the maintenance up to date. Is there a timing belt to be concerned about?

No one has a crystal ball, and a good safety inspection is not a guarantee that nothing will go wrong. But it is your best bet to getting where you want to go on those highways and byways. If not in style, then in one piece, and without giving much thought to your missile.

Terry Inmon is a member of the Women’s Board of the Car Care Council.


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