Before you pack your car and hit the road for your driving trip, the Car Care Council recommends conducting a pre-vehicle inspection to help avoid the inconvenience and potential safety hazards of breaking down miles away from home.
“A pre-trip vehicle check can determine how road-ready your vehicle is so you can take steps to have the problems fixed before your road trip,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Having a thorough inspection done on your car will give you peace of mind as you travel and help make your journey safer.”
The pre-trip vehicle check recommended by the Car Care Council includes:
- Schedule a tune-up to help the engine deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy and produce the lowest level of emissions.
- Check the brake system and make sure the battery connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.
- Check filters and fluids, including engine oil, power steering and brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant. Dirty air filters can waste gas and cause the engine to lose power.
- Check the hoses and belts that can become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system.
- Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Underinflated tires reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy and uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
- Check that the gas cap is not damaged, loose or missing to prevent gas from spilling or evaporating.