It’s springtime in the Rockies again, snowstorms or not. This means it’s time to bring your car to us for an inspection, whether it just be a general inspection or a pre- road trip inspection. Here’s why: A customer brought their vehicle in today for a pre-trip inspection, as it had been a while, and she had some concerns about some noises and such. She wanted us to look it over before she takes it on a trip in a few weeks. After a test drive, and some up-in-the-air time, we called to inform her that we would not feel safe taking it down the block, as her brakes and front suspension were in very poor condition.
Not all inspections are like this, but it’s complete piece of mind to be assured that you and your car will happily glide on down the road and feel no worse for it. Having your car spend a little time with us now could help prevent it spending a lot of time stranded on the roadside later.
Here are some of the things you should check or have checked as part of a road trip inspection:
- Fluids: are they all topped off? Do some of them need replacing? Are some of them so old they remember flip phones?
- Oil: How long since you have changed it? Is it topped off and do you have a spare bottle of oil in the trunk?
- Tires: Are they set at the proper PSI, especially for the weather and temperatures you are expecting on your trip? Do you have enough tread left on your tires? Are they in need of rotation to keep the wear even?
- Lights: Are all your lights and signals working correctly? Are any of the housings cracked or missing?
- Battery: Is it in good condition and is there corrosion on top, which may indicate you need to replace it? Having jumper cables won’t help you if the battery isn’t good enough to be recharged.
- Filters: Are your air and cabin filters clean? The air filter helps the engine and the cabin filter helps you — do either of them need help?
- Windows: Can you see through them? Does your car need a good cleaning or do any of your windows need replacing due to cracks?
- Emergency supplies: Do you have the basics in case of a breakdown? Jumper cables, oil, tools? Is your spare tire in good condition? And depending on where and how long you are traveling, it’s a good idea to keep some basic survival supplies as well, including a blanket, flashlight, water, and non-perishable food.
Test drive that puppy
And after you have all those items checked off, do a test drive. In fact, have someone else test drive your car because sometimes you will have gotten used to something and may not realize you have a problem, like brakes taking too long to respond or difficulty steering. This is definitely where we can help you out, by finding problems and fixing them before they become bigger and more expensive problems.
So as the flowers bloom and the bees begin to buzz, please call us to schedule an appointment for your pre-road-trip eyeball.
Thanks, and Happy Motoring!
Dave Mika, Owner