How to Inspect Your Vehicle for a Road Trip

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How to Inspect Your Vehicle for a Road Trip

Going on a road trip could be a memorable experience however, not performing an appropriate vehicle inspection prior to leaving could quickly transform what was supposed to be enjoyable into a total catastrophe. Here's how you can avoid this from being your experience.

Light the way

If you don't drive often in the dark, then you might be unaware that the headlamps aren't quite as clear as they once were. Every vehicle inspection should consist of a review of the condition of your headlight lens, as lenses get clouded and worn with time. If the lenses on your headlights are not in good condition, replace them and adjust the focus so that you are able to discern what's ahead of you at all times.

Make sure the engine is cool

Like headlights, an inspection of the vehicle must be accompanied by a thorough inspection of the engine's cooling system. Problems with cooling systems are the second leading reason for breakdowns on the Fwd road test and it is important to ensure that your coolant has fresh antifreeze and that the coolant level is in good condition and there aren't any leaks within the cooling process. Repair any leaks as soon as you can prior to departure so that you have sufficient time to verify that the repairs have been successful.

Service now, not later

Plan a multi-point inspection of your vehicle prior to leaving. This kind of inspection could reveal numerous defects or problems that you aren't conscious of. And if you get the inspection completed in time, you will be able to fix any problems promptly. Select a plan for inspection of your vehicle which includes inspections on the following items at an absolute minimum:

  • Bushings/suspension rubbers
  • The condition of the shock absorbers
  • All of the hoses
  • all drive belts
  • Washers and wipers for windshields
  • Battery/charging system
  • brakes, including the parking brake


If your vehicle is due for an oil change, you might consider having it completed during your vehicle inspection. There's no harm in changing the oil and filter at least a couple hundred miles ahead of time in addition, you'll be able to rest in the security which comes from knowing your vehicle is properly lubricated with new oil.

Examine the electronics

Some fault conditions may not result in a warning signal upon the first failure this is why it's crucial to conduct an extensive diagnostic test as some faults are only apparent after a few failure cycles. In these situations, the issue could be recorded as a pending error and the fault could be activated at any point. Be aware that some trouble codes may cause immobilization or severely impact the driving ability of a vehicle if they begin to appear Therefore, you should make sure to schedule a diagnostic inspection for your vehicle to be sure this does not occur to you.

Examine the rubber

Of course, no inspection of a vehicle is complete without a thorough examination of the tire, which includes the spare tire. Simply checking the exterior of the tires isn't enough. Get tires removed from your vehicle for a thorough inspection of the sidewalls inside for indications of damage, such as cuts or bulging, or splits in the shoulder.

Be sure to inspect the tread depth. However, make sure the tread is worn evenly across the distance of all tires. Uneven wear on tires is a clear indication that something is not in alignment or bent, worn or damaged. Replace any tires that aren't in good condition. Also, turn the tires around to make certain that the tires bear the burden equally.

Service the transmission

The transmission could be functioning well, but keep thinking that the car is going to be heavier during the journey than it typically is to work and return. A lot of transmissions have issues when the load changes suddenly and your vehicle inspection should include a check of the transmission and/or service, particularly in the event that you'll be towing a trailer or boat. But, don't request a flush of your transmission majority of manufacturers discourage flushing since it has the potential of cause more issues than it's intended to fix. Tips for Off-Road Driving

Prepare yourself

In the final step of your vehicle inspection, be sure you've got emergency items, such as the following:

  • spare headlight bulbs for the headlights
  • spare bulbs for exterior lights
  • spare fuse
  • essential tools
  • Jack, and lug wrench
  • first aid kit
  • reflective vest (to ensure you are visible) in the event that you have to stop at the dark
  • One or two blankets
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Bottled water and snacks
  • Contact information for your dealer as well as your insurance company.


Being prepared can make the difference between having a pleasurable stress-free trip and an expensive experience that you'll never forget. Spend your time and money on an inspection of your vehicle to ensure you get it safely and return to your home in good shape.

Here at Prestige Auto Tech, we are a team of professionals with one goal satisfaction of our customers. We take pride in the fact our determination to achieve the highest standard in the field we work in and will accept nothing less than that.