How to drive with less stress, more safely, and at less cost
We’re into a new year, and I guess that you may have made plenty of New Year’s resolutions. Probably a few to do with health – losing weight and cutting out those lifestyle vices, such as smoking, perhaps. You may have resolved to get your finances in order, and maybe to get yourself a new, better-paid job.
There are probably very few people who make resolutions to be a better driver and take better care of their vehicle. Here are seven driver resolutions for 2018 that will make driving in Queensland that little bit less stressful.
1. Keep your car clean inside and out
When you keep your car’s exterior clean, it helps to protect it from all manner of damage. Bird mess, for example, is corrosive. Dead bugs on your windscreen make it more difficult to see all when driving. Muddy headlamps make night driving hazardous. Keeping your car clean helps keep you and other road users safe, and helps to maintain your vehicle’s value.
Take a few minutes every week to tidy the inside of your vehicle, too. Clear out rubbish, and vacuum crumbs from the carpet and seats. Leave a mess in your vehicle too long, and it will stain and start to smell. And that’s not good when you want to sell.
2. Attend to minor damage quickly
Get those small unfortunate damages attended to quickly, before they become expensive. Most you can deal with yourself, like chipped windscreens and minor scratches to your bodywork.
3. Check your fluids
Just like a human body, your vehicle can’t function properly without fluids. Get into a routine and check coolant, windscreen washer, and brake and clutch fluid levels. These fluids are vital to your vehicle running smoothly and keeping you safe on the roads in Queensland.
4. Double-check your oil
Oil is vital to your vehicle. Without it, the engine will seize. While you don’t need to change the oil every few thousand kilometres anymore, make sure that you check oil levels and top up regularly. When you take your vehicle for a service, make sure that the oil is changed.
5. Value your tyres
There are many reasons why you should check your tyres regularly. Poor tyres affect you and your vehicle. They make it harder to drive and give a rougher ride. You will use more fuel, and you’ll lose grip as you drive corners.
The only way to make sure your tyres are doing the job they’ve been designed to do – provide a safe, comfortable, and fuel-efficient drive – is to check them at regular intervals. Check for:
- Tyre pressure
- Cracks and bulges
- Bald patches and wear and tear
Check out our post about the four tyre safety checks you must do, and do them every fortnight. It only takes a couple of minutes to make sure your tyres are fit for road use. You’ll avoid unnecessary wear and tear, and your vigilance could prevent an accident, as well as save you money.
6. Drive more skillfully
When did you take your driving test? It’s always worth brushing up on your driving skills. You could invest in an advanced driving course, or take a few online tests to brush up on your road knowledge.
More skilful drivers tend to find their driving costs decrease, too. You’ll drive more safely, and sticking to the speed limits will reduce your fuel consumption. You’ll miss those potholes that do so much damage to your tyres and your car.
7. Listen to your vehicle
Your vehicle speaks to you, if only you listen. Turn the radio volume down, and listen out for the clues your engine is giving you about its needs. And it’s not just the engine. Do you know what that tyre noise is telling you?
Listening to your tyres is a constant check:
- Squealing tyres could indicate that you need to put some more air in them
- Squeaking tyres indicate uneven wear, usually on the front tyres
- A squeak and rattle says that you have a loose hubcap
- Screeching shows you are cornering too fast
- Rumbling and vibration could mean that a wheel bearing is worn – you must get your car checked
- Grinding is usually caused by worn brakes – it’s time to be scared!
Look after your vehicle, and it will look after you
Every year, we resolve to look after ourselves better. Don’t neglect your vehicle this year. Stick to the seven resolutions above, and you’ll also be looking after your health and your pocket. If you notice any signs of damage, wear and tear, or if your vehicle doesn’t ‘sound or feel right’, get it checked. It could save your life.
Here’s to happy driving in Brisbane in 2018.
For all your tyre needs here in Brisbane, contact Darra Tyres today.
Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,