Check your oil level and condition.
You have heard it before, but we all need a little reminder to keep up the maintenance on our cars (myself included!) This is the most basic maintenance item to check off – if you would like Auto Connection to check your oil, stop in anytime for a complimentary oil check. If you are let it go too long, having little to no oil can cause extreme engine damage (often requiring total engine replacement!). All cars need adequate oil to keep moving parts lubricated and to keep engine friction to a minimum, so keep up on your oil changes!
Headlights and brake lights.
- Be sure your lights are operational – brake lights that are burned out are a known offense. For safety, you need to be able to see and be seen. We will always check lights with every maintenance service, including our oil change service.
- Do they stop your car quickly and immediately? Are you hearing any grinding during braking? Brake pads or shoes (and the rotors or drums that they press against) are a “wear” item and are intended to be replaced when they become thin. Extremely hard brake pads may last a long time, but they can be squeaky and noisy and could wear drums and warp rotors prematurely. Brake pads should be replaced, and rotors machined, periodically to keep them wearing evenly and braking smoothly. Make sure you have them checked by an expert auto technician.
- are your vehicle’s only contact with the road. Will they provide the traction you need to corner and stop in rain or slick road conditions and are they appropriate for the road conditions where you or your student will be driving? Check the tread, your tread is less than 1.5mm in normal tyre and 4mm studless tyres” and the tire should be replaced. Check for correct tire pressure – again, if you would like us to do a complimentary tire pressure check, just stop by anytime!
Check your windshield wiper fluid.
- Visibility is vital to driving safety – be sure you are able to clean your windshield quickly if you are hit by a big bug or run into dust.
Fluid levels and condition.
- Coolant and transmission fluid keeps your engine and transmission cool and lubricated. Levels should be checked periodically to make sure there is adequate fluid with no leaks in the system. Coolant should be changed every 100,000 – 200,000 KM (or every 3 – 5 years). Transmission fluid should be flushed and filled every 40 -60,000 KM (please check your Owner’s Manual for recommendations specific to your vehicle). Brake and power steering fluids should also be monitored and topped off or changed as needed.
Test and clean the battery.
- Is the battery adequate to start your vehicle consistently, and run all of the electrical systems on your car? Batteries may need to be replaced every 3-5 years and offer little to no warning that they are failing. Check the date of the battery (located on top). Corrosion should periodically be cleaned off battery posts and cables to maintain amperage level and a good electrical ground.
Proof of insurance.
- Make sure your student has the current auto insurance and details inside the vehicle or in their wallet or purse. You may want to add Roadside Assistance to the policy if they will be going to college out of town.
Emergency kit for the car.
- Get one inside the vehicle if you don’t already have one. Find one with a set of jumper cables included in case a battery fails. Many kits also include instructions printed on the bag for the cables. Or if you have a kit already, be sure that it is updated with any medication, and other first-aid items that may have been used previously. Be sure it is well stocked and with items needed for the part of the country you or your student will be taking the vehicle.
- If your WOF inspection or Registration label will expire while you’re traveling or at school, you should replace it before you go. It doesn’t hurt to get one early, and it could save you from getting a ticket when yours expires.
Jack and spare tire.
- Be sure they are in the vehicle and the spare is in good shape. You don’t want to need either and find them missing if you have a flat tire.