Pre-Trip Inspection

A simple pre-trip inspection can help save trouble down the road.
Home | Articles | Pre-Trip Inspection

Pre-Trip Inspection

In addition to routine maintenance and repair, drivers can use these tips to reduce the risk of a breakdown:

  • Be sure tires (including the spare) are properly inflated. Watch out for uneven tread wear and follow your owner’s manual for proper tire rotation frequency.
  • Test brake lights, headlights and turn signals to make sure they work properly. Change any weak bulbs.
  • Replace worn wiper blades.
  • Check fluid levels under the hood, including battery 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, take your car to a certified technician and have them replaced.

In case of a roadside emergency, the National Safety Council recommends you be prepared with a “survival kit” that should always remain in the car.

Ten essential supplies include:

  • Blanket and warm clothing
  • Compass
  • Exterior windshield cleaner and coolant (also called antifreeze)
  • First aid kit
  • Ice scraper and snow brush
  • Non-perishable food
  • Reflective triangles and brightly-colored cloth
  • Tool kit
  • Water
  • Working flashlight and extra batteries