You might not realize it, but car care is an important part of vehicle maintenance and should be a part of every car owner’s regular routine.

How many times do you walk outside, quickly unlock your door, sit down, start your car and proceed to drive without ever checking some basics on your car? I know, the car was absolutely fine when you parked it last night, or so you thought! What about when your car has been sitting for a week while on vacation, have you done a quick safety check or do you once again jump right in without any regard to the condition of your vehicle.

Get in the habit of checking these 5 basic things before starting your commute. This will not only help maintain your vehicle, keep you safe but also prevent a costly ticket as certain items are required by law!

So here they are:

1. Test lamps and bulbs. This one can get you pulled over and depending on the officers mood, a nice ticket! Break lights, headlights, parking lights, signal lights – these are all important! You may need to grab a friend or a dark garage also can work for those on a solo morning.

2. Tire Pressure. An obviously low tire can be visibly seen, but slightly deflated tires can worsen your traction, lower your gas mileage and raise your risk of a blow out on the highway. You can either buy a $2 tire pressure gauge or swing by a gas station to check with their air machine. We also do this with all our oil changes!

3. Fluid Check. The most common fluid we are trained to check is our oil. Oil is definitely important but so are the other tanks under the hood. Double check your antifreeze, power steering fluid, brake fluid and consult your owner’s manual to double check location.

4. First Aid Kit and Basic Tools. Is there a first aid kit in your car? You should carry a basic first aid kit for minor injuries because you never know when you will need one! Also keep a set of jumper cables, flashlight and a small jack and lug nut just in case of a flat. It might not be your car that needs these, but it’s always nice to help out a friend!

This might not be an everyday check, but it should become part of your monthly routine. At Meister Imports we can teach you more about car care and how to check your fluid, tire pressure and lamps, just let us know when you come in for your next oil change!