Auto tips: Is Your Vehicle Ready for the Road?

The subject of Is Your Vehicle Ready for the Road? isn’t always applicable with Malaysian motorists. A large percentage of local motorists still drive vehicles that are 10 years or older; the matter of fact is new vehicles are simply too darn expensive to even consider in this country. The advantage of owning a new ride is your service and maintenance are pretty much taken care of, for at least five years.  But what about motorists who have cars more than a decade old and cars already out of service warranty? Obviously these motorists would choose to ignore a due service schedule or prolong it to save on costs, unless there’re major problems. Because of this tendency, we have to ask Is Your Car Ready for the Road?

There are several factors why cars on Malaysian roads are considered hazardous or unsafe. Ignoring service schedule is one thing, but there are simple aspects about cars that drivers simply choose to ignore. The commonly ignored for example, petrol level, oil check, water level, assess visible damage on bodywork and tyres, electronics and most importantly, the drivers themselves.

This guide is merely a reminder to perform checks you should perform on your car before setting out on your journey or on a regular interval. Furthermore, the guide is more apparent for motorists who drive a car that’s 10 years or older or has been out of manufacturer’s service warranty. By following this guide, it could help save you from hefty costs and even your life (we aren’t being dramatic)!  

These days most cars come with blinkers and auto beepers to tell you your car is on low fuel or the car’s is about to run out of fuel.

Well, you probably read it somewhere to remind you to fuel up before a long journey, and that’s a no brainer. On the flip side, it is advisable to keep your car’s gas level above the final marker on gas indicator all the time. The reason is simple if you constantly try to push till the last single drop, it could damage the fuel pump or worst certain engine parts.

Next question, when did you last do an oil check? Most new cars have the technology to let you know when your oil needs topping up. But for those with an older vehicle, make sure you’re checking the level regularly. Your handbook should give you the preferred method for your car.

The car’s fluid levels are equally important. For drivers, your car will alert you if you’re running low on coolant, but ideally, you shouldn’t let it get this low. Check water levels and buy coolant for your car and top it up whenever necessary. If you find that you’re low on water, remember never to use tap water.

When did you last check your tyres? Drivers should take a look at tyre tread depth and overall condition before every journey to ensure they are road legal. Remember to check tyre pressure as well. Bear in mind this could change depending on the amount of weight your car is carrying. The legal limit on a car is minimum 1.6mm in a continuous band around the central three-quarters of the tyre. Tyre pressure for cars should be tested when the tyres are cold, as the reading will be higher when they’re hot.

Assessing Your Vehicle

Take a look around your vehicle to check your tyres and bodywork. Assessing your vehicle gives you a glimpse if there are any visible damages or imperfections. For drivers, once you’re in your vehicle, make sure you have no warning lights pop up on the instrument cluster before you set off.

When you’re driving, check all the lights, preferably with a helper to operate the switches or walk around whilst you do. Failing that, use the reflection of the lights in a window or a nearby car. In addition to your lights, also check your horn and windscreen washers.

Are you fit to drive?

Ask yourself if you’re fit to be in control of your vehicle. Medication and tiredness will affect your driving, and your concentration may not be 100% if you’re ill or stressed. Check that you’re fit to drive and take a break before you set off if necessary.

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