The safety of you and your passengers depends on maintaining proper visibility at all times. Let’s face it, you can’t avoid danger on the road if you don’t see it coming. Research shows that some drivers wait up to three years, or until they can’t see through the windshield, before changing their wiper blades. This hazardous practice can put your family in peril if you get stuck unprepared in a sudden downpour.
Wet pavement also increases braking distance, giving you less time to react to danger on the road. A clear windshield is imperative in these conditions. The sooner you see the hazard, the more time you have to react, stop and avoid an accident. Play it safe. Be ready for any weather, any time with proper wiper blade maintenance.
Recommended Wiper Blade Maintenance
To ensure safety and optimum visibility throughout the year, note these helpful maintenance tips.
* Chattering or streaking wipers indicate that replacement is necessary
* Always replace wipers in pairs
* Replace wipers at least every six months or as needed
Rain or Shine, Weather Affects Wiper Blades
Everyone knows that winter weather is tough on wipers. However, surprising to most, sunny weather causes wipers to deteriorate too. Heat and infrequent use can cause wipers to crack and become brittle. Even road chemicals, airborne pollutants and ozone can cause deteriorating. So, whether you live where the snow falls, or in a desert state, be sure to regularly inspect your wipers.
Don’t Forget the Rear Wiper!
Rear wipers can deteriorate just as quickly as front wiper and just as important in being able to see the road clearly. If you vehicle is equipped with a rear wiper, be sure to replace it regularly along with your front wiper blades.
Inspection and Maintenance
The components of hydraulic braking systems are subject to considerable stress and as a result require frequent inspection and routine maintenance.
A brake service should also check the brake fluid: if it contains too much water, the function of the Antilock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) will be impaired.
It is recommended to have your brake fluid changed every 2 years regardless of the vehicle age.
Did you hear?
Some brake noises are normal. Others can indicate problems…
Grinding due to rust build-up on the rotors is of little concerns. The build-up usually can be knocked off, sometimes it disappears after a few stops. However, if grinding persists, there could be a more serious problem with the rotors or pads, and you should head straight to the service department.
Disc brakes with wear indicators may produce noise that indicates it’s time to change the pads.
Trace squeak or squeal
Semi-metallic brake linings sometimes emit such a sound. Rain, humidity or cold brakes in the morning also could be the source. If the problem persists, have it checked out.
Sometimes accompanied by a slight pulsing in the brake pedal at low speeds, this is most likely the anti-lock braking system performing a harmless self-check.
You should regularly check all your lights and bulbs. As sometimes they can fail in combinations, it’s best to ask someone to look at the front and rear while you test them. Check your brake lights and indicators with the headlights on and off, as sometimes a bad earth can cause a fault if both lights are on together.
Sometimes you may be dazzled by oncoming vehicles at night that appear to be on main beam. Often they are not, it’s just the alignment that’s incorrect. Make sure yours are adjusted correctly, dazzling can cause accidents and will fail an MOT test if they are aimed too high.
Few people realise how important it is to carry spare bulbs, until one fails in the middle of a long journey. Fewer still realise that it is compulsory in many countries in Europe to carry a complete emergency bulb kit. These are easily bought, stowed in the car and replaced – a small price to pay for peace of mind.
Consult the handbook if you are having problems. If the light or lights still do not work after the bulb has been replaced, there may be a fuse fault. Look in the fuse box and find the appropriate fuse; replace if necessary.
Shock absorber tips
Stay safely on track with good shock absorbers
Too little attention is often paid to these safety-critical components, which are highly susceptible to everyday wear and tear.
Defective shock absorbers extend the braking distance.
The risk of aquaplaning is increased -even at low speeds. The tyres and chassis wear more quickly. They interfere with and adversely affect the modern safety technology in the vehicle.
Tread is important when buying new tyres
The legal requirement for minimum tread depth on your tyres is 1.6milimetres, across the central 3/4 of the tyre around the complete circumference of the tyre. For safety reasons, it is recommended that you replace your tyres before the legal limit is reached.
Clean tyres correctly
Be careful with the high-pressure cleaners! A heated water jet directed at a particular point from close range could cause considerable damage.
It is recommended to keep the hose at least 20 cm away from the tyre, work with a fan spray nozzle and constantly move the jet; this also applies with stubborn dirt.