This is an era of cab companies like Ola and Uber. And with this increasing cab competition, the maintenance of your taxi becomes utmost important in a situation where your livelihood is solely dependent on it. Because you not only own the car but at the same time it’s your profession too. Ensuring that your taxi is roadworthy is vital. Taxi’s roadworthiness is important for both the driver and passengers as it ensures that all individuals travelling in the taxi are safe at all times. Because you are providing service to public, it is of much higher importance for taxi drivers to regularly check out their vehicle. The correct car maintenance is the best way to ensure that it meets the right standards for carrying passengers on the road.
And therefore, we came out with the checklist for maintenance of your cab:
1. Seat belts
They are the most important component of your cab that keeps driver and passengers safe from any mishap. This is why it is vital to make sure that they are in good and working condition. Buckling and unbuckling of the seat belts numerous times every day can reduce their effectiveness. So one need to check if the seat belt retraction and locking are working smoothly as it was before. To check its effectiveness you can first pull seat belt slowly and then pull quickly is the best way to test and check its effectiveness. If there’s any problem in this exercise, it is advisable to remove or repair seat belts immediately.
Making sure that all mirrors, within and outside the car, are working fine is essential for ensuring that the driver can see everything correctly and without any hindrances. It is important to check that they are not loosely hanged and should stay in correct positions. Also, look for visible cracks in the mirrors. Any fault or damage on wing mirrors or on the rear view mirrors can affect the driver’s view which could be the cause of the likely mishap. Taxi drivers must make sure that this problem should not go unattended.
They should also be taken into account when it comes to maintaining your vehicle. Broken windows could also be the potential cause of an accident. Using safety glass will ensure that glass breaks into pieces and does not shatter when broken, which will further protect driver and passengers.
Check your tyre pressure and make sure they are properly inflated and still have good tread and are not worn or damaged. Properly inflated tyres act as a good adhesive on the road surface which in turn gives you quality control over steering and vehicle handling. It also improves mileage. This check not only saves the life of the owner and passengers of the vehicle but also save the owner’s spending on the tyre and fuel in a longer run.
5. Oil and Brake fluid
Checking that vehicle’s oil and brake fluid are at the right levels will ensure that the car is well maintained and safe to drive. It is advised to check car’s brake fluid every time you open your car’s bonnet for a routine check and changing it is recommended after every 20,000 – 30,000 miles or after 2 years, whichever is earlier. Car’s brake fluid level should never fall below the prescribed level and if it happens, it should be replaced immediately without any delay. To check car’s brake fluid, first, park your car on a plane road. Then switch off the engine. Now insert a dipstick to ensure that oil is at the right level. If it’s below, replace it. And if you ever face any problem or are unsure about it, it is advised you should visit a garage.
It’s important that the head lights, fog lights, hazard lights, rear lights, Parking lights, side lights, and registration plate lights are all in perfectly working conditions. They should be in compliance with the local motor vehicle law. Well-being of these will provide a safe environment to the passengers. Knowing when and how to change them properly is also important.
7. Use Garage
One should ensure that they use a proper garage instead of just parking the vehicle on the roadside or under direct sunlight. Parking directly under the sun may later have an adverse effect on your vehicle’s colour and it may fade off soon. Also, parking inside the garage will prevent any theft or damage done by kids/animals, etc. It also helps to keep the car clean and dust free.
8. Safeguard Vehicle’s Interiors
You car interiors are of great importance for your business and they must be protected from the spilling of things caused by messy passengers. Cover your seats and wash your seat covers on a regular basis. Replace the seat covers if it gets older or has signs of wear and tear.
9. Get a Car Insurance
God forbid, but anything might happen to your car anytime. Therefore, you need a coverage policy like replacement cover or breakdown coverage that will also safeguard your career as a whole. You can opt out of many policies available in the market to best suit your needs.
10. Drive Safely
Don’t ever drink and drive, it will not only hurt your career, but also the image of your employer. Follow traffic rules religiously. Don’t overtake from the wrong side; don’t surpass speed limits. Especially, look for the potholes, bumpers, rough terrains, etc. and protect your car from them. Also, perform regular check-ups on your vehicle and look for important components like brakes, engines, hydraulics, etc to see that they are working properly.
11. Keep passenger limit to an optimal level
As more passengers in the cab will not only put the burden on the car hydraulics which in longer run might get damaged, but also they will put a negative impact on the vehicle’s mileage. No Overloading Please!
Other Important Things to Keep in Mind:
• Check all emergency equipment at the start of the journey. Every day of your pick up service, the first thing one must do is a full “circle check” of the cab.
• Check inside the vehicle and clean the garbage which the previous trip passenger might have left. It is recommended to use a good smelling air freshener to remove all the unpleasant smell from the cab.
• Prefer taking the route which is familiar to you. Also, make sure the road you are driving on is wide enough to let you pass the vehicles easily. Driving on the roads that are not wide enough can put a dent on your car.
• It is recommended to always carry a spare key with you in your pocket. In case, if you have mistakenly forgotten your main key inside the vehicle or have dropped it somewhere, at least you have spare key with you to make the things running again without any problem.
• Be extra careful at night shift as this is the time when people drive carelessly around the city causing accidents. Follow your lanes and drive slowly (as per speed limits). Never race with other vehicles.
• Always keep your windows up. This way you will keep safe your car from the dust and pollution.
• Keep the footrest at the all side of entrances. You have no idea what kind of dirt the passenger is bringing into your cab. After you are done with your a day shift you can dust off the footrest making your cab clean and tidy again.
• Make sure to wash your cab at regular intervals. Please follow the procedure on how to wash a car as mentioned on our website.
Car maintenance and car repair are the keys to keeping one’s car in suitable condition for transporting passengers. Following these basic taxi maintenance tips will keep your car’s roadworthiness level at the right standards. Maintaining your vehicles regularly can help any unwanted issues from occurring and will keep you and your passengers’ life safe all the times.
For more on Vehicle Maintenance and Tyre Related Issues, Check out our Advisory section.