How to Perform Your Own Pre-Trip Inspection

A stock photo of a person filling a tire.

How Do You Prep a Car for A Long Trip?

Are you the adventurous type? Do you like to explore new areas? Answering yes to either of these questions makes you very likely to enjoy packing up your vehicle and hitting the open road. Naturally, those of us working at Fifth Avenue Volkswagen are kindred spirits. We love a road trip and we wanted to share some tips about preparing your car, truck, or SUV for a long adventure. Each of our long road trip inspection tasks can be easily done at your home. However, if you’re short on time, our service department can do all of these things for you very quickly. Let’s take a closer look.

READ MORE: Start Your Trip with a Clean Vehicle

What Should Your Tires Look Like?

The most common problem a road tripper will experience is likely to involve the vehicle’s tires. Before leaving for your destinations, ensure all the tires are in good shape. Major problems like excessively worn tires will be obvious. However, a few millimetres could be the difference between a relaxing trip and one that ends before it begins. The easiest way to make sure your tires have enough tread is to grab a nickel and make sure the Queen’s crown is covered. If you can still see the whole crown, it’s time to get your tires replaced, immediately.

Are Your Car’s Brakes Ok?

You want to be pleasantly surprised in a million different ways on a road trip. However, you don’t want to be caught off-guard by finding out your brakes aren’t up to the job. If your vehicle’s brakes are squeaking or squealing, the pedal feels mushy or it just plain takes your car longer to stop than it used to, make an appointment at the Fifth Avenue VW Service Department, today. A struggling set of brakes is nothing to ignore.

How Strong is Your Car’s Battery?

Say what you will about any other automotive component, but the humble car battery might be the most important part. It doesn’t matter if you’re in your garage or on the other side of the country, a dead battery brings all of your plans to a halt. When you’re checking over the rest of your vehicle, don’t forget about the battery. First, make sure it’s secure. If any of the bracing pieces are loose, a simple wrench or screwdriver should fix that. Also, you’ll want to make sure it’s got enough power. This one thing might require a stop at Fifth Avenue Volkswagen. Just stop by anytime, we can test your battery quickly and often for no charge.

Have You Looked at All the Fluids?

In terms of automotive fluids, fuel and oil get all the attention. Sure, those things are important, and you should certainly make sure you have enough of both. However, there are other fluids that might need attention like antifreeze (coolant) or power steering fluid. Both should have corresponding dipsticks to check their levels. Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for more information on this important task.

Like we said at the top of the blog, all of these pre-trip inspection points are easily checked at home. However, our service department is more than capable of handling this inspection for you. In fact, if you stop in for an oil change, we’ll do these things as a matter of course for the service appointment. Give us a call for more information.