10 Minute Pre-Trip Checkup
Car Care Council offers three suggestions for a traveler's 10-minute pre-trip checklist:
- Check all fluids. There are several fluids, in addition to antifreeze, that require attention. These include engine oil, power steering , brake, and transmission fluids, windshield washer solvent, and antifreeze/coolant.
- Check hoses and belts. A belt that fails can affect the electrical system, air conditioning, and power steering, as well as the cooling system. Cooling system hoses may be deteriorating from within, so old hoses and clamps in marginal condition need to be replaced.
- Check the tires. Check tire inflation and inspect the tread for uneven wear, indicating the need for wheel alignment. Also look for bulges and bald spots.
Not only can a pre-trip inspection help reduce chances of costly and possibly dangerous road trouble, it also provides an opportunity to have repairs made at home, with one’s own technician who knows the vehicle. Especially important, it provides peace of mind. While no inspection can guarantee a car’s performance, it’s comforting to know proper precautions were taken.