Essential car maintenance to help prevent accidents in Washington

Proper and regular car maintenance is vital for helping Washington drivers avoid unnecessary car accidents.

While avoiding car accidents in the state of Washington has a lot to do with being aware while on the road and avoiding distractions, taking proper care of your vehicle also has a sizeable part to play. Do yourself and your vehicle a favor and head to the auto shop to learn the maintenance that can keep you out of avoidable road incidents.

Oil changes

It is your oil that keeps your engine well-lubricated and prevents its internal parts from breaking down faster than necessary, and engine failure can most certainly contribute to an accident. In regards to how often you should have your oil replaced, your best bet is to consult your owner's manual.

Tire Pressure

Proper tire pressure is essential for maintaining steering control and overall handling of your car. Know that your tires can be both under and overinflated, either of which can lead to an accident. During the winter, it is common for chilly weather to leech air from your tires, so be sure you pay close attention to your tire pressure gauge if your car has one. If not, visually inspect your tires before heading out during especially cold days. One thing to bear in mind is that it is perfectly fine to have a bit of extra air in your tires during the winter.

Brakes

Brakes are essential for stopping before hitting cars in front of you, people or any other obstacles the road might throw at you. Rather than rely on your car to tell you your brakes pads and shoes are in need of some attention through screeching, be proactive about it. Have your brakes regularly checked to ensure they are always performing at their best. Another reason to take the initiative when it comes to your brakes is so you have an idea of when they will likely start to fail so you can plan your finances accordingly.

Timing belt

You will need to take a look at your manual to see whether your car model has a timing belt. If it does, it is best to have it replaced anywhere between 60,000 and 90,000 miles. A worn-out timing belt can cause your car to cut off at the most inopportune time, such as when you are speeding down the interstate at 70 mph, or in the middle of an interaction. Depending on the circumstances, your idle car could lead to an accident.

Even though the above tips can help prevent you from being the cause of an accident in Washington, they are no guarantee you will never be on the receiving end of an accident. If you are, be sure to work with an attorney to learn about your legal rights.