Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection

Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection

| By: Christian Brothers Automotive

​​​​​​The open road is calling! But, before you jet out for a road trip, it’s important to ensure your vehicle is in good working condition to handle the long journey ahead. In this #cartalk video blog, Joe Hyde, Director of Automotive Technology, walks us through the important car systems and components to double-check before a long road trip.

“Hi there, I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to get on the road again. And if you’re considering a trip anytime soon, you may want to consider having a pre-trip inspection performed on your vehicle. I’m Joe Hyde, Director of automotive technology for Christian Brothers automotive. Let’s talk cars.”


“So let’s go take a look under the hood, and look at some of these pre-trip inspection items that you may need to check.”

A Visual Inspection

“So first up on your pre-trip inspection, you want to give the vehicle a good visual inspection, you just want to kind of walk around the vehicle and see if you notice anything that is considered abnormal, maybe a low tire, cracked windshield, things of that nature things that you want to look for.”


Check Your Fluids: Motor Oil, Cooling System, Transmission Fluid & Brake Fluid

“Next up after that, we want to check the fluids under the hood. First up will be our oil. Usually, you’ll find that most vehicles have an indicator, it’ll be indicated by a yellow handle. And you simply want to grasp it firmly, use a paper towel or shop rag and check it and make sure it’s within operating range.”


“Next on the fluid list for pre-trip inspection is going to be the cooling system. And usually on today’s modern cooling systems, you’ll find what they call a degas or a reservoir bottle. Now this is just a visual inspection and we just want to make sure that it’s within the minimum to the maximum operating range, as you can see here.”


“Many of today’s modern vehicles do not have a way to check your transmission fluid, as is in the case of the vehicle that we have here today. Please check your owner’s manual to make sure that you don’t need to check your transmission fluid before any trips.”


“Another fluid on our inspection list, is a visual inspection of where the brake fluid level is. And it can be found under the hood as well. Here we’re just checking to make sure that the fluid is in the operational range between min and max. And in this case, the vehicles at the normal level.”


“In the event that you find any of the fluids are not within operating range, it’s a great time to schedule an appointment with your local Christian Brothers Automotive, so you too can have that service appropriately.”


Wiper Blades & Washer Fluid

“Now we’re going to check the condition of our wiper blades and making sure that we have enough washer fluid for the vehicle. Usually your washer fluid can be found and indicated with a blue cap underneath the engine compartment. Simply lift the lid and fill to the desired fill level. Now we’re going to check the condition of the wiper blades, and we just want to lift up gently, and we just want to make sure that there’s no nicks, cuts, splits, and that it feels kind of soft to the touch. And my recommendation when it comes to wiper blades, is when there’s a change of season, it’s usually a good time to change those wiper blades out.”


Visually Inspect Your battery

"Next on our inspection list, we’re going to visually inspect our battery. Here, we’re just making sure that it looks normal and you don’t have a science project growing out of it. So in this vehicle, this is where the battery is located. So I’m gently going to pull the cover back off of the battery post and I’m just going to look at it. It looks nice and clean. I’m going to feel it with my hand, it feels nice and tight. I’m going to place the cover back over it. And then if you can reach it and it’s safe to do so you can check the ground cable as well and it feels good."


Tires & Tire Pressure

"One of the most important things on our pre-trip inspection is our tires and the tire pressure. Most vehicles today have a sticker that tells you how much air pressure should be in your vehicle. If you look on the inside of the doorframe on most of today’s vehicles, you’ll find the tire inflation certification label. This is the recommendation of the proper air pressure for this particular vehicle according to the manufacturer."


"When checking your tires, make sure that you always check your spare. You can consult your owner’s manual for more information about where your spare is located, and what the proper inflation should be. Before those long travel trips, you want to make sure that your spare is properly inflated, that you have a lug wrench to be able to change the tire and a jack to be able to lift the vehicle."


"Many of the items on our pre-trip inspection are certainly things you can handle yourself at home, but in the event that you find any concerns or need further inspection of your vehicle, the certified technicians at Christian Brothers Automotive are certainly available for assistance. I’m Joe Hyde, and this has been another edition of Let’s Talk Cars."

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