A Pre-Trip Vehicle Check List
With the holidays upon us, many of us are planning road trips. Whether you are visiting family or planning a short holiday get-away, it’s important that you stay safe on the road. You also need to make sure that your vehicle is in tip-top shape for winter driving.
A pre-trip vehicle check provides peace of mind, helps reduce the chance of a costly breakdown and provides an opportunity to have any repairs performed by your trusted mechanic before hitting the road. While no inspection can guarantee a car’s performance, it’s comforting to know that proper precautions were taken to ensure a stress-free Christmas Holiday road trip.
Osceola Garage suggests the following tips to help ensure your safety and reliability on the road:
- Check your car tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots. Consider snow tires also.
- Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
- Have the hoses and belts inspected by a trained mechanic. These components are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, heating system, power steering and the cooling system.
- If your car battery is more than 3 years old, have it tested. Car batteries typically last 3 to 5 years. Getting stuck with a dead battery on a cold winter night is not fun.
- Check your headlights and exterior lighting.
- Make sure you have your cell phone with a car charger. Keep a copy of your key contacts in the glove box.
- Slow down in rain or snow.
- Carry snacks, water bottles, blankets, a flashlight, ice scraper, small shovel and a snow brush.
- Check wipers. Wiper blades should be replaced every six months to a year. Make sure the windshield wipers are working properly and keep the reservoir filled with solvent. Carry an extra bottle of washer fluid in the trunk.
- Consider a pre-trip vehicle inspection by your mechanic.
We recommend that motorists restock their emergency kits. Also, to save on fuel costs and ensure your safety during your trip, we suggest observing the speed limit and avoid excessive idling. Gas caps that are damaged, loose or missing, should be replaced to prevent gas from spilling or evaporating.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all!
Article source: “The Car Care Council”, your source for information on the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign, promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org or OsceolaGarage.com