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Old 02-26-2009, 12:04 AM   #1
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Location: New Zealand
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Car safety checks

When was the last time you did a full check over of your car?
This thread is to advise of some basic diy checks you can do on your CB, to make and keep it safe for you and other roadusers.
Everyones maintenance schedule will be different, But I think a good schedule would be to do this check at least once a year or each time you change your oil (whichever comes first)
It only takes about 30-60 minutes to complete, depending on tools and equipment
If you keep a notepad handy you can write everything down that needs attention, then once your finished decide what are the most important things to fix first.

Hopefully it will create a bit of peace of mind for yourself, and give you better knowledge of the actual condition of your CB, since You are the one that will be the doing the checks.

Car Safety checks / Preventative Maintenance

Check your lights - headlight, both high and low beam, the indicators front and rear, parking lights front and rear, number plate lights and with the help of an assistant check your brake lights including the 3rd brake light.
Also Headlight alignment is important, No use doing it by eye against a garage wall, as being even 1 degree out translates to a 2 meter height difference over 100meters distance.

Check your wiper blades. There is nothing worse than getting caught in rain with crappy wiper blades and usually they get overlooked until this happens.
Top up the Washer bottle and check the Washer Jets.
If the jets are blocked a poke with a sewing pin usually gets them working again.
Also check the jets alignment, You can re-align the jet by sticking the sewing pin into the jet and moving it in the direction you need it to go.

Check the horn operation and suitable volume.
Check that both sunvisors freely fold up and down without forceful resistance.
All Safety belts work correctly - This includes buckles that click when the catch is inserted, and they maintain to stay in the buckle when pulled against.
They must then release immediately when the buckle release button is pressed.
Also check that the inertia lock is operating correctly - The safety belt should lock solid when pulled out fast.
Lastly the belt should fully recoil when released from its normal operating position.

All seats should be securely mounted, and mounting points free of any rust.

Open the Hood / Trunk / Gasflap

Ensure hood safety catch is operational, and all doors open from the Inside and outside.
Check drive belts for any signs or cracks or deterioration.
Check Radiator and Heater hoses for splits and deterioration.
Check all under-bonnet fluid levels. Engine oil level and condition, Transmission fluid level and condition, Coolant level and condition including the overflow bottle, Battery electrolyte level, Brake Fluid level and condition.
Check Gasflap opens, and fuel inlet cap screws in and out without problem.

Jack the car up and put it on Axle stands

Check tyres for adequate tread depth across the entire tread surface of the tyre. 1.5mm Minimum.
If there is major wear on one side of the tyre have a wheel alignment carried out. Or a camber kit fitted and adjusted.
Check the tyre pressures are correct and even across the tyres. Don’t forget to check the spare tyre.

Check for play in the steering inner and outer tierods, top and bottom balljoints, and wheel bearings.
For reference on how to do this, Check here:

Remove wheels

Check brake pads / shoes thickness and condition. Usually a minimum thickness of 3mm for brake pads, and 1mm for brake shoes is a safe bet. Don’t rely on the brake pads warning pins to tell you when the pads are worn.
Inspect the flexible brake hoses and calipers / wheel cylinders for visable leaks / wetspots.
Any signs of external brake fluid leaks should be fixed immediately.
Check shock absorbers for leaks, and that springs are mounted correctly.
Refit wheels and ensure you torque the lug nuts back to spec - 80 ft/lbs

Check exhaust system for leaks, Any leaks should be fixed immediately.


Check that all bumpers and sideskirts are securely mounted, The vehicle does not have any sharp external projections which could be hazardous to pedestrians or other road users.
Throughout all the above checks you need to be looking out for rust also.
All mirrors and windows should be clean and free of damage (chips, cracks etc)

Car Safety / General Servicing Checks --------Basic suspension checks

My 5.7 LS1 Holden Ute

A "Finished" project car is never finished until its been sold.

If at first you don't succeed, Try again. Don't give up too easily, persistance pays off in the end.

Last edited by evil_demon_01; 02-26-2009 at 12:25 AM.
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