Ignore these ten things on your car, and you endanger your car, yourself, and others. Jalopnik readers point out the key items you need to check on your car.

10.) Rust

So your car's components can only do their job if they stay safely in place instead of fall through the floor, as Darkcode explains:

Rust. Bit by bit, your car's structural integrity is lost. In case of accident the body panels will be much more fragile.

Suggested By: Darkcode, Photo Credit: tonylanciabeta

9.) Timing belt

It will snap if you don't replace it, ruin your engine, not to mention what could happen at high speeds with suddenly bent pistons...

AverageMechanic has seen some examples:

I've towed at least 5 PT Cruisers to the car graveyard because the people popped the timing belt, and bent valves. Sadly, some had no idea it was a required service item. Others knew about it but put off replacing it. Bent valves and damaged pistons can be a game ender on an older car. If the book says do it at 90k, DO IT!

Suggested By: AverageMechanic, Photo Credit: BrownGuacamole

8.) Windshield wipers

Your eyes might work just fine, but you need that piece of glass in front of you to stay transparent as well, come rain or snow. It's cheap to replace wipers, it shouldn't be a question.


Suggested By: reverberocket is nipping the apex..and gently blowing in it's ear., Photo Credit: atomicjeep

7.) Fuel lines

My Autobianchi was spraying gasoline all over the engine bay. You know, it's old, it's red, and it's Italian. A new fuel pump solved the problem, and it cost me $20 not to turn into a fireball at some point. Check the fuel lines, when they get old, leaks will appear.

StillHasAManualRack has a Porsche story:

It can depend on the car, but anything containing fuel or other flammable liquids. Take 928s for example. We make fun of Ferraris for catching on fire, but 928s love to catch on fire when people buy neglected ones and then drive them without changing the flexible fuel lines that run around the back of the engine.

Automatic 928s have another fire prone failure point- because the transaxle is in the rear (on both manual and automatic cars) the transmission cooler lines for automatic ones run the length of the chassis from back to front and above the exhaust. They are therefore exposed to heat cycles and can crack. Eventually if you don't maintain them they can spill flammable transmission fluid onto the hot exhaust which results in a pretty fast and intense fire that can really threaten rear seat passengers.

Suggested By: StillHasAManualRack, Photo Credit: aresauburn™

6.) Ball joints

owen-magnetic's friend is not the brightest chap around:

Ball joints. Every time I ride in my buddy's Focus with 240k on it, he turns a corner and it feels like i'm riding a Tilt-A-Whirl while getting a lapdance from a woman with two peg legs. I always say something and his response is always the same: "i just need this car to make it through the winter."

Don't gamble with things that connect you to the road.

Suggested By: owen-magnetic, Photo Credit: hspauldi

5.) Lights

How many times do I see people driving on the highway without any or with faulty lights on? Plenty. Unsafe at any speed.

Suggested By: The Scrambler says it can be done, Photo Credit: Exotic Car Life

4.) Fluid levels

If it's the oil level you ignore, your engine will die. If it's brake fluid, it might be people. Also, if fluids are disappearing, there's a problem in the system.

Suggested By: 6cyl, Photo Credit: Robert Couse-Baker

3.) Steering

Your steering wheel might be super sporty, but it should also be perfectly connected to the front wheels. It's great to have a say in where you're headed. If you feel your steering is off, get your car checked.

Suggested By: DasWauto, Photo Credit: Ryan Frost

2.) Brakes

Yes, you can use your handbrake at low speeds, and yes, the engine brake can be helpful downhill, but what about emergency braking? Don't fool around with a leaking master cylinder or non-existent brake discs.

Suggested By: Jay_Hoff, Photo Credit: crazyoctopus

1.) Tires

As Stig-a-saw-us wrecks says:

They are your contact to the road.

Tires can take a lot, but check pressure, tread, age and tears. It's really that simple to keep it on the safe side.

Suggested By: Hatebox, Photo Credit: Dr Stephen Dann

Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!

Top Photo Credit: Jalopnik via the absolutely amazing r/JustRolledIntoTheShop