Here are a few points of what to check, what to look for and why it needs checking. Also, when checking levels make sure the vehicle is on flat, level ground.
What to Check Before Starting the Vehicle
- Engine Oil Level: It should be just below the maximum mark. Over filling, under filling or using the incorrect oil may damage the engine.
- Coolant Level: Make sure the coolant levels are between the minimum and maximum marks. Overfilling the coolant reservoir can inhibit circulation thereby causing overheating. Use only straight water in an emergency. Coolant contains anti-corrosion properties, which prevent premature wear of the water pump and the cooling system.
- Brake /Clutch Fluid Levels: Make sure the levels are correct, the cap is on tight and the bottle is kept clean. Brake fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid that absorbs moisture, which means it gets contaminated easily. Dirty fluid will corrode the cylinder seals and may cause the brakes and /or clutch system to become spongy or fail.
- Windscreen Washer Fluid Level: An unobstructed vision is important to safe driving.
- Tyre Pressures And Condition: Always make sure the tyre pressures are at their correct levels. Pumping the tyre pressure too high may lead to a blow out, especially on hot tarmac. High tyre pressures may also lead to uneven, rapid wear. And don’t forget to do the spare tyre.
- Leaks Under The Vehicle: Leaks may indicate a serious fault, which needs immediate mechanical attention. Report it.
- Battery Levels: Ensure battery is securely clamped down, terminals are secure and levels are correct. Only top-up with distilled /de-ionised water. Any other water will cause deterioration of unit.
What to Check after Starting the Vehicle
- For Abnormal Noises (Open Bonnet): If you hear any strange noises, inform your supervisor, so he can have it followed up. The noise may be indicating a serious fault, which needs immediate mechanical attention.
- The Lights, Indicators, & Horn: Make sure they are all working for obvious reasons.