Summer vacation is over, school is back in session and that means a lot of college kids driving themselves back to school and for the ones still in grade school— it means a lot of back and forth in the morning and afternoon rush. Some of you have high-schoolers driving for the first time and that in itself can be nerve-racking. We hate to pile on but—did you do a safety inspection of your vehicles before sending one off to college, or out on the road to school for the first time?
If you did that, then congratulations you’re on the ball when it comes to checking oil, tire tread depth, brake fluid etc. If you answered no to that question, have no fear—with the labor day weekend coming up soon you have a great chance to use that extra time off to run down a comprehensive vehicle safety checklist.
Listen, we’re not only your source for used tires in Houston, we are business owners with kids, families we protect on every level. We care about our children and yours so we’ve compiled a thorough safety checklist that will ensure your vehicle is well-inspected and road ready. It will also help you discover and potential problems or maintenance needs. Even if you didn’t get this done before school started, it’s never too late to be proactive with safety, so check it out!
Our Ten Point Back-To-School Checklist For Your Car
- Check Your Oil – This is one of the most obvious, yet most overlooked maintenance procedures on consumer vehicles. You would think since there is such a need for last-minute used tires in Houston that tires would be the most overlooked—but it’s oil condition and levels. Just think about how many times you’ve been driving down 45 and a car in front of you is blowing smoke that smells like burning oil? Maybe it’s because you can’t really tell when you are in the vehicle and you only go by mileage and change every 3-5k miles. However, oil condition and levels are something you should always check before road trips and during bouts of extreme heat or cold. Having insufficient oil levels or oil that is extremely dirty can cause an engine to seize up and cost you well over $5,000 in repairs. Make sure you also change your oil according to the owner’s manual guidelines.
- Check Headlights/Brake Lights – Not only can headlights and brake lights that don’t work cause a serious accident on the road—it can also get you a citation. Headlights that are dim or burnt out will render you unable to see after dusk, but so can headlight covers that have glazed over as a vehicle ages. Just as-you can buy used tires in Houston—you can also buy used auto parts from salvage. So, if your headlight covers are beyond restoration, then buying used ones from a junkyardis a viable solution. If it’s just bulbs you need, most auto parts stores have the bulbs you need and they aren’t expensive parts. If you’re not sure how to replace them, YouTube is an excellent source for video tutorials for most makes and models.
- Check The Brakes – Saving some money by installing the best usedtires in Houston on your vehicles instead of new, will do you no good if your brakes are shot. How do you know when brakes are bad? The obvious answer is to evaluate how quickly they stop your vehicle—but also listen to your brakes. Do you hear hard squealing? That can be the sign brake pads are approaching the end of their lifecycle. However, some particular factory brake pads such as in GM vehicles may squeal lightly whenever stopping or when wet. It is something you just have to be attentive about and get to know your vehicle. However, if you hear grinding—that means you need to pull into the nearest brake shop right away. Especially if it’s loud and sounds like metal on metal—because it is. Your pads have worn away beyond effectiveness and you are driving your way into a $500.00 or more brake job and ruined calipers. Brakes are another wear and tear part that can cost you twice as much to change if you let them go too far.
- Check The Tires – Alright naturally, since we swell used tires in Houston—we know a lot about this subject. Tires are the shoes of your vehicle so to speak. They are the only part of the vehicle that makes contact with the road and isan essential part of vehicle operation. Tires need to be in good enough condition to provide sufficient traction in all conditions, especially rain, snow, sleet or ice. You also need to consider where you will be driving your vehicle and the terrain, climate, andenvironment. There are different tire treads for different terrain. For example, a farm truck that consistently travels on dirt roads, or off-road, will need a different kind of tread than a sedan used downtown on the pavement. Pay close attention to the tread depth as well, if you don’t have a tire tread depth checker, you can use a penny. Put the penny head upside down in between the tread. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head your tread is dangerously low and can reduce your car’s ability to stop or gain traction in the rain. If you are concerned about spending hundreds on a set of tires—consider shopping our sire for some of the best usedtires in Houston and save, while getting quality tires you can trust.
- Check Your Fluids – A vehicle uses a variety of fluids that aid and assist in vehicle performance and longevity. Windshieldfluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid—you get the point. Refer to your owner’s manual for the locations to check your fluids and the frequency which they should be checked. If you are unsure how to test the condition of your fluids (such as noticing color, smell or viscosity) take your car to your trusted service center for a courtesy check.
- Check And Clean The Battery – Your battery is another wear and tear item that needs to have the charge checked frequently as the batteryages and the terminals need to be cleaned. Batteries have various lifetimes depending on the cost and type of battery but most last 3-5 years and fail without warning when they are depleted. You can be on top of this by randomly checking the charge at a local service center (usually free) and cleaning the terminal posts of corrosion — a can of coke works surprisingly well!
- Check For A Copy Of Insurance – Before you forget, make sure your student or you have a valid copy of your insurance either in card form or on your phone. This comes in handy when getting inspections, reporting an auto accident, or when getting pulled over for a traffic violation.
- Be Prepared For Emergencies – It’s never a bad idea to keep a roadside breakdown and first aid kit in the car at all times. You never know when a car may break downand you never know where. When you’re sending kids off to college in a car, you don’t want them getting stuck in the middle of nowhere with no cell service and no way to notify passersby of an emergency. A good roadside kit will have some flares, some tools and some jumper cables at the very least.A solid first aid kit will include bandages, gauze pads, antibiotics, hydrogen peroxide and maybe even a clotting agent. You can never be too prepared.
- Be Ready For A Flat– Always have a jack and spare tire that is properly inflated. You never know when you will have a flat and will be unable to secure roadside assistance and need to travel tothe next town to get help.
Don’t Ignore Your Vehicles Signs For Needed Maintenance!
We hope this back-to-school checklist helps you to beprepared for the unexpected as we want all of our customer to be safe this school year. If you find yourself in need of serious vehicle maintenance, please don’t put it off and get your vehicle to a qualified service center. If you end up needing tires and don’t want to pay through the nose for them— then come and select fromthe best usedtires in Houston and save yourself some money and get peace of mind.
At Affordable Used Tires—we get you back on the road safe, sound and with some extra change to go around. Contact us today to find the right used tires for your vehicle.