Do you know what to check on a regular basis? Do you know exactly what to do in a car accident? Do you know what the check engine light means? Many people just get behind the wheel, drive off and don’t pay attention to the car. The car does speak to you and it does try to tell you it needs attention. You need to give it that attention, but most importantly you need to speak the car’s language. This is what Kayser of Madison, WI wants you to know:
What to Check on a Regular Basis: Don’t rely on the indicator lights in the dashboard to alert you there is a problem with your car. There are also several things like damaged wiper blades or a dirty air filter that don’t always result in an indicator light. That streak the blade is forming – it’s probably time to change it.
To avoid problems, get in the habit of checking those things that need routine maintenance on a regular basis so that you catch problems early on. It is recommended to check your air filter and wiper blades every six months, and your tire pressure once a month. Ask your repair shop for a recommendation on how often you should check your wiper fluid and oil levels.
Keep in mind that during the winter months, you are using your wiper fluid more frequently. You should check the wiper fluid whenever you stop for gas.
What to do If You are in a Car Accident: The most important thing is to remain calm. What happens next depends on who is injured and how badly they are injured.
- Make sure your cell phone is available and that you have your I.C.E list ready.
- If there are injuries, ask someone to call 911 and wait for the police and ambulance to arrive unless staying in the car poses further danger.
- If any injuries are minor, do what you can to move the vehicles to the side of the road to avoid other accidents.
- Call the police and exchange information with the other driver.
- Avoid talking about the details of the accident and do not admit fault to the other driver or the police.
- If possible, take notes about accident details and use your cell phone to capture pictures of the circumstances of the accident and both vehicles.
- File a police report, even if no officers come to the scene and call your insurance company.
What You Should Do When the Check Engine Light Comes On: For many people, the “check engine” light causes a certain amount of anxiety. There are so many things that can trigger the check engine light, it isn’t easy to know how to respond right away. The problem could be severe enough that you should pull over immediately and call a tow truck or it can be as minor as a loose or missing gas cap. Knowing how to respond when the check engine light comes on is important for all drivers.
- If you just put gas in the car, pull over and check to see that the gas cap is in place and tightened properly.
- If not, listen to the engine to see if the light coming on coincided with any unusual noises.
- Note if there are any strange smells or visible smoke.
- Ask yourself if the car’s performance seems impaired or different than usual.
- If none of these other symptoms are present, the problem isn’t likely severe enough that you need to pull over and have the car towed.
- Take your car to your repair shop to have the source of the problem diagnosed.