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Vehicle Safety - a Supa Check Away

Safety - 01 August 2019
Billy Orekise
Billy Orekise

Remain safe and save money this winter by being pro-active and going for a Supa Check. It’s free and takes under 10 minutes to complete. Frank Naicker, Supa Quick Kya Sands explains the importance of ongoing vehicle maintenance.

Lights

With winter upon us and more hours of dark, we need to remember to switch on our car lights earlier in the day, during sunset or even sooner. Poor night time visibility causes accidents, a situation worsened due to broken vehicle lights. While driving you may not notice when a light stops working, so inspect all car lights regularly and have them replaced as soon as possible. By law, all your vehicle lights must be working at all times.

Windscreen Wipers

You cannot drive safely without a clear view of the road ahead. Ensure your windscreen and windscreen wipers are unimpaired in all weather conditions. Check your windscreen wiper blades (front and back), the windshield washer pump, hoses, and fluid every six months and change when necessary.

If ever your windscreen is streaking or your windscreen wipers are chattering, wearing, splitting, or not wiping the windscreen smoothly and quietly, replace them as soon as possible.

Vehicle Suspension

Your vehicle suspension helps you drive smoothly and safely. Without good suspension, your brakes and tyres won’t respond effectively and your safety will be at risk. Checking your suspension at a Supa Quick dealer means it will be done correctly. (General auto mechanics may not have the necessary tools or experience.)

Car Batteries

Although vehicle batteries last around three years, check yours regularly to ensure proper functioning, especially before going on a long trip.

Plan to change your battery every three years and don’t try and stretch its life to save a bit of money. Battery failure commonly causes breakdowns, something we all prefer to avoid.

Brakes

Vehicle brakes are subject to normal wear and tear and will eventually need to be replaced.

Check your vehicle’s braking system at least every six months as part of your routine vehicle maintenance check. This should include checking brake pads, brake linings, brake fluid levels, rotor thickness, and hoses. Any brake warning lights on your dashboard or rasping noises when braking should alert you to have them checked immediately.

Tyres

Change your tyres at a reputable fitment centre that offers advice and helps you meet basic rules for vehicle tyre safety, namely:

  • Tyre replacement using the size designation recommended by the vehicle or tyre manufacturer. (Using the wrong size tyres can be dangerous and cause your insurance claims to be repudiated).
  • Ensuring all tyres on an axle are the same brand, size, and tread pattern.
  • Guarding against cheaper tyre imports which replicate premium brands.
  • Do not mix radial and cross-ply (bias) tyres. Don’t assume the correct tyres have been fitted when you buy a used car. If the tyres are incorrect they are potentially lethal – it’s advisable to take your newly acquired second-hand car in for a check.

Exhausts

Exhausts on new generation cars usually last a vehicle’s life time, while those in older cars need to be replaced more often. If your exhaust is an older generation model, check it regularly to ensure safety, fuel optimisation, that it’s not emitting black smog. If you hear a rattling sound coming from the exhaust, check the brackets.

Radiators

A radiator should last your car’s lifetime provided the engine and cooling system have been maintained. Perform regular vehicle services where your radiator will be checked and correct anti-freeze levels maintained. Anti-freeze ensures the liquid in your radiator doesn’t freeze in winter or boil over in summer and thus prevents engine damage all year round.  

Read more: Checking Your Vehicle’s Radiator

Safety Tools

Having the correct safety tools and equipment in your car is essential, particularly in winter. Ensure your car is equipped with:

  • Hazard triangles or LED flashers to mark your location for emergency services and to warn oncoming cars of your vehicle so they can reduce speed and prevent hitting your car.

  • Flashlights are useful for dealing with problems under the bonnet or signalling passing traffic during an emergency, and invaluable if you need to walk to find assistance at night.

  • Jumper cables are especially important in winter as low temperatures place extra strain on your battery which may cause it to die.

  • Cold weather clothes and blankets (including pocket-sized heat reflective ones), kept in your boot are useful for winter driving, especially on a long trip.

  • Snacks and water keep you comfortable and hydrated in situations such as when waiting for a tow truck.

  • First aid kits help you survive an emergency. Buy one for yourself or make your own from bandages, adhesive tape, antibiotic ointment, scissors, gauze, and any medications you may need.

Shock Absorbers

Worn shocks require you to concentrate more to keep your car on the road, which leads to driver fatigue. Many drivers who own cars over three years of age are unaware their shock absorbers have worn out. Fluid leakage can cause shock absorber failure such as the following:

  • Vibrations when driving
  • Swerving or nose diving when braking
  • Increased brake stopping distance
  • Uneven tyre wear
  • Suspension wear

At best these problems cause uneven tyre wear, at worst the loss of vehicle control and dangerous accidents.

Supa Quick fitment centres offer car owners a free vehicle safety check. Visit your nearest dealer and help us increase safety on the road.

Disclaimer: This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. The views expressed here are not that of Supa Quick. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information on this site is at your own risk. We will not be liable for any losses and damages in connection with the content on this site.

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