Old fashioned service with the latest technology!
Check tire pressure
Considering that only four small patches of rubber keep your multi-ton vehicle in contact with the pavement helps clarify the importance of maintaining proper tire pressure. Check the pressure in every tire - don't forget the spare - at least once a month, and when the tires are cold. Recommended pressure levels for your tires are in the car's owner's manual or on a sticker usually found on the driver-side door jamb. Make sure you don't simply use the pressure stamped on the sidewall of the tire, which usually shows maximum pressure.
Check tire tread wear
Worn tires can be as dangerous - if not worse - than improperly inflated tires when it comes to keeping your car safe, especially on wet roads. AAA recommends checking the tread depth on each tire by placing a quarter upside down in the tread grooves - if the top of Washington's head is exposed at any point on the tread, it's time to shop for new shoes for your car. You should also check for uneven tire wear patterns, which can be an indication of problems with wheel balance or the car's front-end suspension and alignment.
Keep your battery charged
Extreme heat and cold, road grime and age all take a toll on a car's battery cables, causing them to break down; these factors also speed up corrosion of the battery terminals. Unfortunately, many drivers only learn this when a battery has insufficient power - and they're stranded. That's why it's a good rule of thumb to check a battery's cables and terminals at every oil change. If there are any signs of corrosion clean the terminals, which may entail disconnecting the cables to clean areas where they contact the battery terminals. Make sure the cables are tightly reattached.
Follow the vehicle's maintenance schedule
As with a dead battery, many drivers discover problems with their cars once they're stranded, when the situation could have been prevented through proper maintenance. Besides preventing breakdowns, following the manufacturer's recommended maintenance on a vehicle will also extend its life and help keep costly repairs at bay. Routine maintenance - oil changes, fluid top-offs - can be performed yourself. If you're more hands-off, find a mechanic or auto repair shop before you need one by asking friends and family for recommendations, or find an AAA Approved Auto Repair facility.
Make sure your wipers work
Seeing the road during heavy rain can be difficult, and it's even worse if your windshield wipers are worn and not functioning properly. Old or damaged wiper blades won't adequately remove precipitation and debris, meaning the driver's view of the road - and the safety of all in the vehicle - can be dangerously compromised. Check your wiper blades at least once a month and inspect them for wear and cracks or for whether they've become rigid due to age.
Check windshield washer fluid
While having properly functioning wiper blades is important, once a windshield becomes very dirty or smeared the blades won't do much good if your car is out of windshield washer fluid. Check the fluid reservoir monthly and fill it with a solution designed to remove insects or other debris. In winter, switch to a solution that won't freeze at low temperatures. It's also a good idea to check that the washer's spray nozzles are working properly and are aimed at the windshield - not at the cars behind you.
Check belts, hoses, and mechanical fluids
Although you may not be mechanically inclined, you should be able to look at a rubber belt or hose in an engine and tell whether it looks damaged. And you can tell if engine fluids are low. Look for engine belts that are cracked or frayed and hoses that are worn, brittle or bulging, and check for leaks around hose clamps. Also, check that engine oil and coolant - as well as brake, transmission and power steering fluids - are at their proper levels. A consistently low fluid level could indicate a leak or other issue that you should have checked by a trusted mechanic.
Carry a roadside emergency kit
You can do everything we've covered here and take every possible preventive measure but still find yourself on the side of the road. In that case, you'll want to have a mobile phone and charger, of course, but an emergency roadside kit can make your wait - whether it's minutes or hours - safer and more pleasant. A good kit should include a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, drinking water, snacks, booster cables and emergency flares or reflectors.
Properly install a child car seat
According to AAA, three out of four child car seats are improperly installed, meaning that even drivers who diligently buckle in children could be putting little ones at risk in the event of an accident. Before installing a car seat, read both the seat's instruction manual and your vehicle's owners manual. To further ensure a safe and snug fit, AAA recommends finding a certified technician near you by calling (866) SEAT-CHECK or visiting www.seatcheck.org.
One of the most critical steps you can take to keep yourself and others in your car safe is to enforce seat-belt use, no matter how short the trip. According to AAA, when worn properly seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat occupants by 45 percent and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50 percent. The best way to learn what "properly" means is to read your car's owners manual.
Restrain your pet
According to the pet safety website Bark Buckle Up, pet travel has increased more than 300 percent since 2005; unfortunately, 98 percent of dogs are not properly restrained in moving vehicles. Not only can free-roaming pets distract a driver, they can also become hazardous projectiles in a crash. According to BBU, a 60-pound animal transforms into a 2,700-pound projectile in a 35-mph crash - enough force to cause serious injury to a driver, passengers and, of course, the pet itself.
Drive without distractions
A multitude of distractions - from chatty passengers and crying children to in-dash electronics and smartphones - can draw a driver's attention away from the road. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that looking away from the road for just two seconds doubles the risk of being in a crash. AAA recommends remaining vigilant while behind the wheel. And if you have passengers, ask them to help with tasks that would distract you from driving safely, such as switching radio stations or answering a phone call.
At JM Mechanical Inc of Canby, OR, our technicians do extensive research to ensure that the data we provide to you is the most accurate and up to date. Our technicians also attend classes regularly, often at their own expense, for ongoing education so that they can keep up with the changing technology.
On Board Diagnostics & Drivability Problems:
Check Engine Lights
Hesitation on accel/decel
Lack of Power
Lugs on accel/decel
Maintenance Required Lights
Malfunction Indicator Lights
Poor Gas Mileage
Brake Fluid Service
Oil & Filter Change
Power Steering Service
Pre Purchase Inspection
ABS Brake System
Air Conditioning Service