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Pointers for a Pre-trip Inspection Checklist That You Need to Follow

Pre-trip Inspection Checklist
A pre-trip inspection checklist can save you a lot of trouble and time before you embark on a road trip or a vacation that you've been planning since forever. You'll get one in this article, so use it and be safe.
Sujata Iyer
Last Updated: May 31, 2018
We all believe that checking a school bus that is taking school kids for a trip to the local museum or aquarium is absolutely mandatory and should be conducted by all schools. However, when it comes to our own vehicles and a trip that we plan ourselves, we tend to take it a bit easy. We don't bother checking each and every single detail of our vehicle, and most often pay for it, literally and figuratively. We all know that conducting a pre-trip inspection is all we need to do to avoid such a situation. But do we do it? Most probably not. But from this moment, that's about to change. We have for you a checklist for a road trip or a vacation that you may be planning, which involves the use of your own or a rented automobile. Check it out and use it.
Vehicle Checklist
Whether it is a camping trip in the woods with your family or a road trip that you've planned with your friends, you simply must not compromise on car safety in any way. Maximum accidents happen on the road and a major portion of those are due to negligence on part of the driver. Negligence includes not conducting a thorough inspection of the vehicle before driving it. Because honestly, if you don't bother to check to see if anything is wrong with the vehicle even after knowing that you'll be using it continuously for quite some, then it's nothing short of rash and negligent behavior. Given below are all the things you need to keep in mind while checking your vehicle BEFORE you take it out for the long awaited trip.
Pre-Trip Inspection Checklist for Vehicles
Exterior Inspection
  • Wheels: Check to see that the tires have enough air and pressure. Make sure that they have a proper tread. Also check rims and lug nuts and check that the hub oil seals are not leaking
  • Lights: Check the headlights to see that they work properly. Flash and check for high beam and low beam. Check the fog lights. Also check all the indicators: front and back, right and left. Also check that the hazard lights are properly working. Also the brake lights, stop lights, and parking lights need to be checked.
  • Suspension: The spring mount, springs, and shock absorbers need to be checked for wear and tear.
  • Glasses: Glasses include the mirrors and the windshield. Make sure they are clean and free from dirt and grime. Wash them clean before setting out. The windshield wipers should also be checked.
Interior Inspection
  • Engine: First things first, start the engine and check if it's giving you any ignition problem. If not, then check the engine oil level and the coolant level. Also check the air compressor belts, the water pump, alternator, and the power steering for any possible problems.
  • Steering: Check the power steering fluid level. Also, start the engine and check if the vehicle moves easily with the use of minimal strain. That is the point of a power steering. Blow the horn and make sure it is loud and clear.
  • Battery: Make sure that the car battery is not worn out. Check all the connections to see that they are secure and that there are no loose ends. Also make sure that the battery box is not corroded or damaged in any way.
  • Brakes: Make sure there is enough brake fluid. Start the car, go ahead an inch and brake immediately. Make sure the brakes do not squeal or screech. Check the emergency brake in the same manner.
  • Seats: Check all the seats in the car for comfort and jagged edges. Check all the seat belts. If you're going to be taking a kid along, make sure the required car seat or booster is installed.

Apart from these things, there is one more thing which need not really even be mentioned, because it is very common sense. Remember to check the level of fuel in your vehicle before you leave for the trip. Else you'll be stranded in the middle of nowhere with a perfectly functional car that has nothing in its tank. So, use this checklist and save yourself from a disastrous trip.
Changing battery
Portrait of woman cleaning car mirror