Driver habits are the things which you can do whenever you drive a vehicle. If you identify any concerns or deficiencies, further investigation or actions, including inspection and repair by a qualified mechanic, should be considered. The vehicle's owner manual often has detailed information on what to look for when inspecting your vehicle and how to address minor problems.
When approaching your vehicle look for signs of:
- Fresh damage
- Fluid leaks underneath
- Under-inflated or flat tires
- Ajar doors, hood, trunk and fuel door/cap
- Unsecured loads
- Check for ice, snow, or dirt that may interfere with vehicle lighting, steering, driver visibility, or become a hazard to other motorists should it come free from your vehicle.
From the driver's seat and before driving, look for:
- Unobstructed visibility around entire vehicle
- Burned out or dim headlamps
- Dashboard warning lights should illuminate during engine start then go out
- Loose objects in the vehicle
While driving, be alert for:
- Unusual engine or exhaust noises
- Squeaking or grinding noises when applying the brakes
- Dashboard warning lights coming on
When planning an extended trip, perform more detailed vehicle checks, including:
- Windshield wipers and washer fluid level
- Tire pressures, condition and wear
- All lights work
- When the engine is cold, check under the hood; oil and coolant levels, obvious defects with belts, hoses, and possible leaks. Your vehicle's owner's manual should provide more information on what to check and what to look for.
- Consider having your vehicle thoroughly inspected by a qualified mechanic