Driving services like Uber, Lyft, and Postmates are at an all-time high in popularity. As more and more people switch to these driving jobs, they begin using their personal vehicles for work. Without proper mechanic care, this will create additional wear and tear for your car. Here is a look at 5 routine checks for Uber and Lyft drivers that can help keep your vehicle protected.
1: Regular Tire Checks
Tires are one of the most important elements of vehicle safety, handling, braking, and movement. As Uber and Lyft drivers, it is essential you routinely check in with your tires:
- Treadwear: Tire tread is vital for vehicle safety, handling, and breaking. Catching uneven tread wear early can also help alert you of alignment issues—which are common for Uber and Lyft drivers. You can read our guide to tire tread depth here.
- Air pressure: Low air pressure can cause road safety hazards, tire damage, and poor fuel economy. If you frequently have low tire pressure, look for signs of a nail in your tire.
- Tire age: While you do not need routine tire age checks, it is helpful to note these dates. Once your tires hit 5 years old, the rubber can begin to oxidize, which has the potential to create and/or worsen car accidents. You can read our guide to tire age here.
2: Routine Oil and Filter Checks
When driving is your career, it is especially important to keep your engine healthy. Perhaps the most necessary service (and one of the easiest to forget) is the oil change. Your oil lubricates your engine—ensuring that all of the pieces move together seamlessly. It also helps keep your engine temperature regulated. This small vehicle service can save you thousands of dollars in engine damage. It is essential to routinely check engine oil:
- Oil level: Engine oil can become depleted over time.
- Composition: Dirty oil will not perform as well as fresh engine oil.
- Oil filter: Your filter helps catch contaminants in your oil, but it needs to be cleaned or replaced regularly.
3: Regular Alignment Checks
Bumps, potholes, and other road hazards can throw off your wheel alignment. The more frequently you drive (especially down less sturdy roads), the more likely your car is to lose alignment. As such, Uber and Lyft drivers are especially prone to alignment troubles. When your wheels are not aligned, it can cause accelerated and uneven tire tread wear. This can come in many forms:
- Tread becomes worn on the inside of your tire, while the outside half of your tire is like-new
- Tread is worn on the outside of your tire, while the inside half of your tire is like-new
- Just one of your tires becomes bald of tread while the rest are still like-new
Here is a quick test: the next time you find yourself in an empty parking lot, try very briefly removing your hands from the steering wheel as you drive at a low speed. Does your wheel turn to one side or continue relatively straight? If your wheel turns, you are due for an alignment.
4: Brake Pad Replacements
Driving for Uber, Lyft, Postmates, and other services can put extra stress on your braking system. The most common issue we see from drivers is worn-out brake pads. Your brake pads press against your metal rotors to slow and stop your vehicle. Over time, the friction material of your brake pads becomes worn down, which will make your brakes less responsive. Routine brake pad checks can help keep you and your passengers safe on the road.
5: Maintenance Fluid Checks
Your vehicle relies on a vast network of parts and systems to keep it moving forward. Many of these parts and systems rely on specialty fluid that needs to be regularly flushed and replaced. Keeping up with maintenance flushes can help you avoid more costly vehicle services, damages, and repairs down the road. During a routine oil change, your mechanic should check your:
Chapel Hill Tire Car Care for Uber and Lyft Drivers
When you find your vehicle in need of service, bring it down to your nearest Chapel Hill Tire. We routinely run special coupons specifically to support Uber and Lyft drivers. Our auto service mechanics proudly serve the greater Triangle area with 9 locations across Apex, Raleigh, Durham, Carrboro, and Chapel Hill. You can make your appointment here online or give us a call to get started today!