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Preventative maintenance … the way to go

Published:Sunday | June 13, 2021 | 12:06 AMPaul Glenroy Messam - Contributor

The old adage “Prevention is better than cure,” is timely, especially in today’s society. Prevention is not only better, it is less expensive. No motorist wants to have their vehicle broken down before, during, or after the curfew times have begun. The term preventative, according to the Macmillan Dictionary means, “done so that something does not become worse or become a problem”.

“Preventative maintenance is less expensive than repairs resulting from neglect.” says Anthony Brown, auto mechanic.

“This maintenance refers to the care a motor vehicle should get to prevent trouble later,” he adds. This means not only day-to-day care, but the periodic attention a car needs at a gas station, garage, or pointers listed in the owner’s manual.

According to Brown, the schedule for having certain maintenance jobs done is extremely important. A new car’s warranty may not be good unless the times covered by the warranty are done as suggested.

Before starting the engine, it is advised that the driver clean the windshield, headlights, and taillights if they are dusty or dirty. One should remove any glass or other objects on the pavement that might damage the tyres. Also, observe if any of the tyres seems softer than the others.

A tyre is easier, cheaper, and safer to be changed at home or at a gas station than on the Mandela Highway or on the lonely Lakes Pen road.

A tyre that loses air may go flat without warning. If it is noticed that a nail or screw is lodged in any of the tyres, do not remove it. Drive to the nearest tyre- repair shop, where it will be remove and repaired as required.

If the weather predicts shoqwea of rain, ensure that the windshield wipers and washers are in good order. If night driving may be a part of your journey, check the headlights and all other lights. Check the horn, with the ignition on, along with the gauges and warning lights.

Double-check gauges again after starting the engine. All the lights should be off. If the fuel gauge shows less than half tank;, be sure to pull in at the nearest gas station to add fuel.

As you start to drive, press on the brake pedal before shifting to note the feel of it. The pedal should be firm, not spongy or soft. “It should not be lower than two to three inches from the floor,” advises Anthony Brown.

While driving, do not dismiss any unusual noise. These unusual noises, odours, feel, vibrations, squealing, or thumping are signs that something is wrong with the vehicle.

Be aware of and alert to any change in the steering, braking, or acceleration responses as these should receive immediate attention. The auto mechanic further states that it is best to include the instrument panel in your visual search pattern while driving, remembering that any unusual readings or warning lights could indicate major worries and undue stress on the brain as well as the pocket.