Pre-driving Checks: Everything You Need to Know


What is a Pre-driving Check?

Pre-driving checks are meant for testing the conditions of a car if it is fit to drive. Drivers are required to check for the fitness of the objects inside and outside a vehicle, the control panel, primary controls, adjusting the driver’s seat, the mirrors before they start driving. These pre-driving checks are necessary for every driver to do, before entering and after entering a vehicle.

What should you check before driving checks?

Before you enter your vehicle for a pre-driving check which is usually on the inside of a vehicle, you also need to check some parts of your vehicle on the outside. They are;

Lights: It is very important to check on your front and rear lights, you should ensure that no lights are out, the lights are not faded but very clear, your fog light is working, your indicators lights are working by testing them with the hazard warning switch, the brake lights and the full-beam functions are working.

Tires: Tyres are very susceptible to quick wear and tear especially when driving long distances. A blown tire can be very dangerous, in addition to being costly and time-consuming to deal with. Make sure that you check the following in your tires before you start driving;

-Correct air pressure

– The thread on tires should be a minimum of 1.66m or above and should cover a 20p piece on the outer band.

– Physical damage, it is very important to check the visible condition of your tires before starting to drive for long distances, also for your spare tires too. In case you notice a rip or bulge, you may want to change such a tire before embarking on a long drive.

-Water, oil, and fluids

You need to ensure that the oil and fluids in your car and topped up, it is very important to make your vehicle run at its best! Check these fluids; Engine oil, coolants, brake fluid, and windscreen fluid. It would save you a lot of time, energy, and money by ensuring these fluids are topped up for your car to perform maximally and stay in good health.

-Steering Wheel and Brakes:

Brake pads are prone to breaking and wearing out, you must contact a mechanic for occasional checks for you to determine their conditions and fix every necessary end for your safety. Make sure you’re also very vigilant when driving, to determine if your steering is straight enough or your vehicle is not pulling to a side, ensure that you run these tests as much as you can by yourself or with the help of a mechanic.

-Battery; It is quite easy for you to test the health of your vehicle because it determines if your car would start or not. If your battery is dead then your vehicle doesn’t start. Since the latest vehicles have more electronic components, the batteries are under greater pressure.

Note that batteries have a life span of three to four years, so ensure that you’re conducting routine checks as often as possible on your batteries. Watch out for cracks, leaks, and damage, if there’s any sign of these you may have to replace your battery. Going on long journeys with your vehicle would typically increase the lifespan of your battery as it charges fully for about 240miles of driving.

What are three pre-driving checks for your car?

Before going for a drive, to ensure your safety and other road users, three pre-driving checks stages for your car are strongly recommended. They include;

  • External Vehicle Check: When entering your car after a while or when you are entering an unfamiliar
  • Cockpit Drill: When you are in the driver’s seat
  • Moving Brake Test: Before you drive up to 30mphp

External Vehicle Check: Before you get into the car ensure that you take these steps to determine if your car is fit for driving;

  • Check all the fluids; engine oil, brake oil, water coolant, washer fluid, and others.
  • Check all the tire pressure, including your spare tires.
  • Walk around your car to ensure that all light lenses are intact and clean
  • Ensure that your windscreen wipers are in good condition
  • Ensure that the rear side and near side tire tread and wall are OK
  • If you drive a vehicle with a rear wiper check if it is working fine
  • Ensure that the nearside and the rear side mirror are clean and intact
  • Check if the windscreen at the front and the back is clean and clear both on the inside and outside.

Cockpit Drill; This involves that you check for your car’s handbrake, gear, warning lights, find out if there’s enough fuel for your journey, pressure on the foot brake, seat belts, closed doors before you take off.

Moving Brake Test: Carry out a moving brake test at the first available opportunity usually 25-30mph on a straight road section. Ensure that the vehicle is braking evenly and in a straight line with no negative effects on the steering then you can continue driving.

What is the 6 point check?

The six-point check requires that you watch out for these things in your car before you start driving to ensure you and other road user’s safety.

  • Broken glass – Ensure that all glass is intact including mirrors and windscreens and there’s no sign someone may have broken into your car.
  • Body damage: Check for visible damage, like scratches or broken lights.
  • Fluid leaks: If you’re perceiving an odor that might be relating to acid leaks or other fluids, you may want to carefully find out the source of the odor. Or you can look under your car to check.
  • Objects – Check if there are no objects on your path or under the tires that may puncture the tires or cause an accident.
  • Children/pets – Walk around your car to ensure no children or animals are leaning on your car or hiding where they may not be easily seen.
  • Tires – Check the conditions, your tire pressure, the inflation of your tire so that they don’t cause an accident or unnecessary frustration on your way, also ensure that you always have a spare tire in your car which is in good condition.

How often should pre-Drive checks be performed?

Pre-driving checks should be done every time you want to drive your car.

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