Pre-Trip Vehicle Self Checks

Its always good to do some DIY checks on your vehicle from time to time. Do it in an interval of twice a month and especially before long trips to prevent breakdowns and to ensure safety of the passengers. Here are some of the checks you can do it yourself.

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Engine oil level and condition. Pull out the dip stick located nearest to your engine. (Best if you do this when the engine is cold) The level should be at the middle of the H (High) and L (Low). When the engine oil gets hot, it will be larger in volume and it will be near the H line. If it is low, just top it up but don’t over fill it. Too much engine oil will bog down the engine; too little might cause engine to have more friction and prone to overheating and failure.

Brake fluid is the same rule of the thumb, a good level is somewhere in the middle although it is ok to fill it up to the H level but it does not give any additional safety or additional performance.

Coolant is next. What you see here is the coolant overflow tank. This is where overflowing coolant when your engine is hot get dump into. When the engine is cold, the indication should be in the middle.

Tires threads should always be checked from time to time. There is a basic guide by using a 20 cents coin. If the thread is below the 20 cents wording, it is probably time to change. Also make sure the pressure is right. Pressure markings are usually located at the driver’s door. Over inflating may cause burst and a harsh ride while under inflating may result in bad handling and causes serious damage to the tires and rims … and not to mention accidents.

Check your windshield wiper fluid too. You never know when you might need it. This can be filled with water or a windshield cleaning fluid of your choice. For most cars, you should be able to see the level of the fluid by just looking at the container. Certain cars (in this picture for example) have a long indicator which works just like an engine oil dipstick. For this, you can fill it up to its MAX level but don’t leave it dry as it will cause damage to your windshield cleaner water pump.

Alright, all these checks are done, and you are ready for your journey!


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