Before your set off on your next road trip, be sure to avoid misadventure by performing a pre-trip inspection.
In addition to routine maintenance, this checklist will help reduce your chance of a breakdown.
- Test headlights, brake lights, and turn signals. Have any weak or blown bulbs changed.
- Replace any worn wiper blades. Wiper blades should be pliable. Watch for any cracks or separation from the blade retainer.
- Check that the fluids under the hood are full. This includes: battery fluid, automatic transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, coolant, oil, transmission fluid and windshield wiper fluid.
- Check belts and hoses for any visible cracks or bulges. If belts and hoses are over 4 years old, a certified technician can replace them for you to keep you traveling worry free.
- Check that the battery posts and cable terminals are clear of corrosion. A little baking soda and water paste scrub goes a long way here to keep your battery corrosion free.
- Check your tire pressure when the tires are “cold,” after they rest for a few hours. Over inflation can cause premature wear in center of the tire. Due to less tread contact with the pavement, an over-inflated tire is more prone to skidding on wet conditions. Under inflation can cause premature wear to the inner and outer edges of the tire. Under inflated tires can result in sloppy, loose handling.
- Don’t forget the spare and jack, just in case.
- Take a drive around the block. Listen for any high-pitched squeals, grinding or clunking coming from your brakes. If in doubt, have a technician check your brakes and advise you on the condition of the brake friction material, drums, rotors and the hydraulic system.
Run through this checklist before each road trip and keep you vehicle trouble free wherever your tires take you.