Car Care: Things to Check Before Starting Your Car

The most frustrating thing about owning and driving a car in a city on a daily basis is the fact that eventually, one of the days it will have a breakdown.

The most frustrating thing about owning and driving a car in a city on a daily basis is the fact that eventually, one of the days it will have a breakdown. 

For reasons ranging from a flat tyre to general maintenance ignorance to pathetic road conditions of India. 

So, we have come up with a simple check list that you can perform every time you start the car – or at least before the first start of the day in order to prevent unnecessary delays. 


From Outside: 

– Start by checking whether the tyres are properly inflated – it is always better if you have a pressure gauge, but in any case just check if the pressure is visibly low in any of the tyres. It is also advisable to properly check tyres every fortnight and re-inflate them (including spare tyre) to their recommended pressures. You can also lightly kick a tyre or two – not only to make you feel a little better about the task, but also for the good luck charm! 

– Thoroughly check under your car and in some case even on top, for stray dogs and cats. Why? Well, I don’t think we need an explanation for this one! 

–  If you are one of those souls who frequently park their car in the public parking spaces – which, by the way are almost non-existent these days – then you will know better about the unwanted ads and pamphlets that are forcefully stuck under your wiper blades / mirror housings / door-handles etc. Please check and thrown them away (in the bins people, keep thy city clean!) before getting inside the car. Needless to say it is very irritating to step out for this reason. 

– You might as well want to check if it is your car and this bit is really simple – it will open and more importantly start with your key. No, believe us, we have come across people who end up unlocking someone else’s car and not realising it until they actually get inside!


On the Inside: 

– Check and adjust your seat position and also adjust the rear view mirrors. Get an ergonomically comfortable driving position is of utmost importance. 

– Before you turn-on the engine, check if A/C, headlights and other electronics are shut-off – your car will mostly start trouble free even with these on, but then they will certainly affect your car battery’s life and in most modern cars – it could ruin the vital electrical too. 

– After you turn-on the ignition, wait for all warning lights in the instrument cluster to illuminate before starting the car. Once you start the car all the lights should disappear in a moment except handbrake warning light. (Hope you pull the handbrake, every time you park your car –of course, that is a different checklist – “things to do when you park your car”). In case any light remains on like Oil level indicator or battery, get you car checked from an authorised service centre. 

– This might sound a little silly, but can be a lot of pain if ignored. Always do remember to check if there is enough fuel in the car to at least reach the nearest fuel station. 

– Now the last thing to do is to ensure that all headlamp and indicator bulbs are working fine; and though we suggest that the usage of horn should be minimal, it is still important to check that it is working – as we still drive on the great Indian roads! 

To conclude, the most important thing to practice and perfect if your observation skills when it comes to your beloved cars. Being observant and being able to put a pin on a thing that is shown a change, will go a long way in making sure that you are not held back by the side a of a road with a broken car.

Article Categories:
Cars & Bikes

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