Tuesday 17 September 2019

Watch these basic safety checks to help keep your vehicle running safely between services

The tell-tale signs that your brakes need to be changed could save your life.

In this series of videos by the Road Safety Authority for Irish Road Safety Week, motoring journalist Geraldine Herbert shares some indispensable tips to help keep your car roadworthy and safe in between services. Here she gives us some important information on our brakes.

Check the brake fluid level in your vehicle regularly. This is usually a transparent plastic container or reservoir located under the bonnet (please refer to the owner’s manual for more information). This allows you to inspect the fluid level inside the container without the need to remove the filler cap, which can cause contamination.  The brake fluid level should read between the max and min mark, or as stated in your owner’s manual.

A thorough inspection of the brakes cannot be carried out unless the wheels are removed, and removal of parts is not allowed at an NCT, so this is why it’s so important to have your vehicle serviced regularly by a qualified mechanic. Every car is different so please consult the owner’s manual or manufacturer for timelines specific to your vehicle but in general, it should be serviced at least every year or after every 15,000 kilometres.

The wear-out rate of brake pads, both front and rear sets will vary depending on car make, model, mileage and year. There are some tell-tale signs of worn or weakened brake pads and discs, such as noises like scraping, screeching or metallic squealing when braking or turning, low brake fluid level in the reservoir, more pressure required on the brake pedal to stop the vehicle, vibration in the brake pedal or the vehicle pulling left or right when the brakes are applied.

If you notice any of these signs, then you should have your brakes inspected by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible. 

These videos include information on how to check your tyres, engine oil, lights and much more and can be found on the RSA Youtube page. Further detail on these checks can also be found in the RSA’s 12 checks booklet here.

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In order for your brakes to be properly inspected the wheel needs to be fully removed

Safety on our roads is everyone’s responsibility. Sometimes we can forget that when we get behind the wheel, we’re taking a risk. Cars are powerful machines and no matter how good a driver you are or how good the roads are, sometimes they can let us down.

Therefore we have to do all we can to ensure our cars are in the best condition and that we get to our destinations safely and to do this, we must take simple steps to maintain them between services.

Irish Road Safety Week from Monday 2 to Sunday 8 October 2017;

This year, Irish Road Safety Week (IRSW) will be taking place from Monday 2 October to Sunday 8 October with lots of road safety activities planned nationwide. Find out more here.


Sponsored by: RSA

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