I remember back (not too long ago) when I was a little girl and driving was pretty much something which was “for the lads,” before embarking on even the shortest of drives my dad would conduct what I now know to have been a pre-trip vehicle inspection. If he religiously completed one of these safety checks for a short drive down to the local grocers then you can bet your bottom penny he conducted an epic one prior to a long trip. I remember on one occasion having to contain my excitement for one more night as the impending trip had been pushed back due to the mechanic having to come in to sort out the “indicator fluid” – just kidding, I know there’s nothing like indicator fluid.
But yeah, apparently one of the front brake pads had gotten worn out in a rather unusual manner since the other one was just fine, something which attested to a much more serious issue of wheel alignment being out of kilter. This is the perfect example of why pre-trip vehicle safety checks were important, but they’re still important in this day and age – importance we tend to take for granted because of the rather computerised nature of the monitoring systems integrated into even the smallest of modern cars.
Our cars definitely don’t break down quite as much as they used to back in the day and as long as you stick to the service plan and look after yours according to manufacturer instructions, generally you won’t really have any major problems.
However, in line with the trending #CarSafetyChecklist campaign, it’s important for any vehicle owner or for anyone who is about to take a drive somewhere to conduct a basic pre-trip vehicle safety check – nothing too extensive, unless you really have the time, but just a quick inspection which is basically just designed to make sure everything is in order. After all, the computer systems integrated into the monitoring of the functionality of cars are not immune to malfunctions, which is why we’ve all heard stories splashed all over the news about automakers pleading with their customers to bring in their cars as part of a car recall for some or other malfunction or safety issue check. These recalls are often as a result of the basic safety checks which are sometimes even beyond the scope of the typical vehicle owner themselves, as was the case once when the crew over at kwik-fit.com discovered a correlation between the use of the wrong tyres with some issues the onboard safety braking system some vehicles deployed incorrectly.
So you should definitely check pointers like your tyre tread, tyre pressure, the amount of water (and anti-freeze) in your radiator tank, etc.
Even if your vehicle has a built-in, computerised monitoring system, other pointers to check would include the likes of your oil, windscreen water tank levels and basically everything else which forms part of the traditional, old-style pre-trip car safety inspection the way your father and grandfather did it. It my just save you some money you would have otherwise had to spend on a bigger issue that would have become aggravated by a lack of knowledge of it, and more importantly, it may just save your life.