At American Pride Automotive, we believe that owning a well-maintained vehicle is more than handling the technical stuff like regular service and repairs. It is also about encouraging smart driving practices. These 6 habits of responsible car owners go far for keeping your vehicle running smoothy and your family safe.
1. Pay Attention to Tire Condition
You should check your tires for wear once a month and before and after road trips. In addition to a basic visual inspection, try the penny test on each tire to ensure that the tread is deep enough. What’s the penny test, you ask? Stick a penny in the tread of each tire with Lincoln’s head facing down. If you can see all of his head, it’s time to get new tires.
It is also important to examine each tire for nails or other punctures and to check tire pressure once a month when the tires are cold. Never drive on over inflated or under inflated tires. Taking these steps will help ensure safe driving with no blow outs, flat tires or other avoidable issues.
2. Drive carefully.
Accelerating and braking slowly, going the speed limit, and using one’s turn signals contribute to keeping a vehicle in good condition by putting less stress on mechanical components and reducing the risk of accidents.
3. Avoid emotional driving.
Along the same lines, remember that driving when upset or tired is never a good idea. Pull over, ask someone else to drive, or just stay put until you feel 100%. Tired drivers tend to have slower response times and emotional drivers are apt to road rage and aggression. Both of these can cause traffic accidents.
4. Follow the recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle.
Check the owner’s manual or the internet for the recommended service schedule for your make and model. Manufacturers generally specify certain mileage checkpoints for important service procedures that will keep your car running smoothly for the long term.
5. Always get the car checked by a professional before heading out on a long road trip.
We mentioned the need to examine tires before and after a long trip, but it’s also smart to give the whole vehicle a once over before hitting the road. Make sure all fluids are full, the battery charged, and the brakes aren’t worn down. It’s best to get a automotive service professional to do a road trip check because they are well-equipped to pinpoint hidden issues that might leave you stranded on the interstate. If you have any doubts about the condition of your vehicle, repair any possible problems or rent a car. (More on this next week)
6. Model good driving habits.
Driving safely and taking care of your vehicle is the best way to set your children on the path to responsible car ownership. If you refrain from distracted driving and service your vehicles regularly, your kids are likely to emulate you.
We at American Pride Automotive put your family first, just like you do. Let us be your automotive repair and service shop. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.