What To Check For Before You Drive

checklist for car driver

A large part of learning to drive is learning important routines and repeating them. Getting into the routine of checking your mirrors, being aware of others around you and conducting preventative maintenance is vital to staying safe on the road. Getting into the habit of checking your car over before you drive can help you spot potential faults in your car. This, in turn, can help you avoid accidents and costly repair bills. In this post we will be looking at what you should be checking for before you set out on the road.

Check For Leaks

A quick look under your car and under the car’s hood can reveal the presence of leaking fluids from your brakes, steering or radiators. If you notice that there are little puddle or droplets of fluid on the ground, or excess fluid on parts of your engine, it’s a good indication that something is leaking. Quickly identifying and repairing fluid leaks can stop you car from overheating or prevents your brakes or steering from failing, making the couple of seconds it takes to check for them time well spent.

Check Your Tire Pressure

Not all tire punctures are immediately obvious, you might have picked up a slow puncture on your drive home from work and set off in the morning with a partially flat tire that could damage your wheel rim or even cause you to lose control of the car. Many modern cars come with a tire pressure sensor which you can check and, failing that, manually checking is a quick and easy process.

Check Your Lights Are Working

Your car’s lights are one of those things that is easy to forget. You might be driving with a broken brake light or turn signal and not even notice it. Before setting out to drive in the dark it is always worth checking to make sure all your lights are in good working order, including your hazard lights. Checking your brake and tail lights might be a two person job, but since driving with a missing brake light is both illegal and could potentially put you in danger it is always worth the extra effort.

Check Your Windows And Mirrors

Visibility is hugely important to keeping safe when you’re out on the roads. Before driving, you should always check that that your windows are clean and thoroughly de-iced and defrosted. The same applies to your mirrors and it worth taking the extra time to make sure your mirrors are angled in way that eliminates any blind spots.

Check Your Gauges

Particularly in modern cars, the dashboard is setup to communicate a huge amount of information, from tire pressure to engine temperature. If you find yourself waiting for you windows to de-mist or the car to warm up, check those gauges and pay attention to what they are telling you.

Check Your Air Vents

Blocked AC vents can contribute to your car overheating and, in a worse case scenario, are actually a fire hazard. With that in mind it’s a good idea to routinely check to make sure all the vents in your car are operating properly, including those in footwells and window defrosters.

Getting Into The Habit

Checking over your car only takes a few extra seconds and spending those extra seconds could help you avoid a costly repair or even save your life. So the next time you head out onto the road, spare a moment to run through the checks listed above, it’s time well spent.

Learn From The Best

Northwest Driving School and Traffic School provides the Las Vegas community with live driving and traffic classes taught by seasoned instructors. All of our driving instructors have passed background checks, each automobile is DMV safety-approved and every member of the Northwest family is committed to providing excellent drivers ed and behind the wheel instruction.

At Northwest, you can expect to find outstanding classes, both on campus and behind the wheel, that are engaging, fact-filled, entertaining and geared toward success. We make no bones about it, we believe that Northwest provides the best driving lessons in Las Vegas, no matter your age or background. We are proud of the fact that 98% of our students pass their test on the first try. Call us at (702) 403-1592 to start your driving adventure with one of our expert instructors.

Written by:
Rich Heinrich
Master Instructor, Emeritus

Instructor and Office Administrator

Frankie works and karaoke's in Las Vegas but his out-of-doors-heart is still out East. Born in Boston, Frankie loves the snow and mountains. As an avid snowboarder, Frankie has never seen a snow day he didn't LOVE! A graduate from…Read More