How to ensure your car is safe for the road


If you have a car then you will know more than anyone how important it is for you to try and keep it as safe as possible at all times. After all, if you don’t maintain your car and if you don’t put the effort in to try and keep it roadworthy then this can cost you a ton of money in the future and you may even find that it is much more expensive than what you’d like to pay for the repairs as well. If you want to get around this then you can easily look below.

Tyres

It is so important that you never skimp out on the tyres. The main reason for this is because good tyres can easily stop you from spinning out when you are on the road. If your tyres are all worn out and in bad condition however then this will not be the case at all.

If you want to make sure that your car is extra safe then you need to try and check the pressure. It is shocking to see how many cars are on the road with tyre pressure that is far too low. If you are not sure about your own tyre pressure then one thing that you need to do is get low and look at the bottom of your tyres. If your tyres are bulging at the bottom, this is not safe. There is a high chance that you need to fill them up with some more air. You can pick up a stick gauge for a relatively cheap price from your local gas station and by doing this, you can see if yours match up properly.

It is always a good idea for you to check your tyres for nails or anything else of the sort. A pin sized hole can really cause you issues with your pressure and this is the last thing that you need. Other things that you need to look out for include uneven wear. This could be due to uneven alignment or even worn out suspension parts.

You may even find that this is to do with improperly inflated tyres as well. If you know that the outside of the tyre is wearing out faster than the middle then this indicates an alignment problem but if the middle is wearing out faster then this indicates that you are over-inflating your tyres.

Ball Joints

Ball joints are all to do with the suspension of a car. They are pushed into a control arm or even an axle and it also includes a steering knuckle. Ball joints often fail due to the moisture or dirt from the road invading the boot. This contaminates the lubricating grease but it should be noted that ball joints can easily fail without the boot showing any signs of wear.

These failures tend to happen over a very long period of time but if you have a cracked or damaged boot then this can fail at any time and it can also cause your ball joint to fail very quickly. It is probably worth mentioning that just because your boot is cracked, doesn’t mean that you have a bad ball joint.

If you have absolutely no moisture and you have had some dirt seep in then there is a high chance that you can just replace the seal. If you are visually inspecting your car then try and look out for your rubber boots shuttering. If you have a floor jack then you can push up the wheel to check to see if the ball joint has gone bad. You can also look out for relative motion in the control arm.

Check Your Tie Rod Ends

A tie rod is what helps to connect your steering rack to the knuckle. The job of this is to try and make sure that your linear motion is set. In other words, it turns the wheel for you.

If you have a tie rod that has gone bad then the wheel will rotate in the ball joint, even if it is pointing straight. This will cause your vehicle to weave or snake down the road even if you are trying to make it go straight. You may also find that you get very uneven tyre wear and this is very dangerous. If you have been in an accident with your car like this then you can talk to a lawyer by clicking here for more info.

If your tie rod is in bad condition then this can cause you major issues and this is especially the case when you are on the motorway. If your tie rod has worn out completely then your whole wheel could turn much too far and this can make your car stop abruptly. When you look at ball joints, you will soon see that tie rod ends are just like them. They often fail after the rubber boot has cracked and moisture has found its way into the joint.

You have to check to make sure that the boot is in very good shape and that it is very lubricated. Of course, a good rubber boot does not mean that the tie rod is 100% okay. The same concept applies vice versa as well, because a bad boot doesn’t mean that it has failed either. You can do a test on your tie rod end by listening out for any clunks when you turn the steering wheel.

Checking a tie rod end is like checking a ball joint, but instead of pushing the wheel up and down, you need to turn the wheel as if you are trying to turn. If you want to check your inner tie rod ends then you will be interested to know that these sit much closer to the steering rack. They aren’t visible and the main reason for this is because they are completely covered by a rubber rack. You can put your hand on the tie rod near to the dust cover and you can also feel for vibrations and even clunks. This happens as you turn the wheel.

Damaged Brake Lines

Your brakes are vital to staying safe on the roads. It is therefore important that you keep an eye on your brake lines as well. They run from your master cylinder and then under the hood. They also run to the front and the rear brakes in your car.

You need to pay a lot of attention to the brake lines because if it happens to get covered in a salty slush then this can cause you major issues. Brake hoses attach the caliper to the hard line. This then bolts onto the steering knuckles. These hoses can easily get old and they can crack as well.

If you happen to get a small hole in the hose then this can render your brakes absolutely useless. If you are able to take a look at them and you know that they are old and cracked then it is so important that you are able to replace them.

If you know that they look worn but you are not sure then make sure that you contact your mechanic to see if they can help you with whatever you need. It’s also important to know that rusty brake lines and even bad hoses can leak as well. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Brake discs

Brake discs are what the brake pads themselves clamp down onto in order to make the car stop in a safe and controlled way. If you know that there is some rust on the disc then you have nothing to worry about. Brake discs can rust incredibly quickly but you should be able to brush this off without any problems.

If you see warping, very deep rust or even any grooves on the disc, or if when you are driving you feel some level of shuttering when you apply the brakes then you need to get your brake discs replaced. In some instances you may be able to save money and just get them resurfaced but either way, it does require some immediate attention.

Warped discs can cause you to lose full control of your car when you are driving and you may even find that they wear out your ball joints and tie rod ends when you are driving as well and you know how dangerous this can be.

Of course, you don’t need to be an expert in order to check your car over for the issues listed above. These checks will help you to make sure that your car is as safe as it can possibly be and it will also help you to make sure that you are putting in the work to keep it maintained as well.

When you do take your car to a mechanic, they should be able to go over things like this for you and they can also get the issue sorted out for you right there and then in most cases. That being said, it is important that you are diligent to ensure your own car is safe for the road.

** This is a collaborative post

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