If you are preparing for a day-trip or an extended vacation to unwind, having a “pre-trip” automotive service will ease your mind and possibly prevent an unexpected automotive repair that leaves you stranded out in the cold. Here is a simple check list to include in an automotive service to get you off to a great start:
* Vehicle Loading & Tire Inspection
Virtually all late model motor vehicles are equipped with a sticker located on the driver’s door or pillar. That sticker determines maximum vehicle capacity, which means the weight of the vehicle along with the combined weight of passengers and cargo. Don’t exceed the recommended load capacity. On the same sticker is also a tire pressure chart. Be sure to check all tires and make certain they are inflated properly. Tire tread depth should also be inspected. If tires are worn to a point where less than 2/32-inch of the tread remains, or if the cord or fabric is showing, it’s time to replace the tires.
* Lights & Horn
Inspect all exterior and interior light/lamp functions. If any bulbs are burned out, and if you are uncomfortable with replacing it yourself, take your vehicle to your automotive service center and have it taken care of. You will want to make sure the horn works properly.
* Windshield Wipers
Test the wiper operation of your vehicle. You will also want to check the wear of the wiper blades. If they are streaking, or squeaking, they probably need to be changed to make sure you have clear visibility in the elements.
* Parking Brake
Test the parking brake with the engine running, transmission in drive and your foot on the brake. With the parking brake engaged slowly release the foot brake. If your vehicle moves forward, then the parking brake is not adequate. To ensure your safety, don’t forget to have it checked as part of the automotive service.
* Spare Tire
Spare tires can lose pressure over time. It’s a good idea to not only check the pressure of the spare, you should also insure it isn’t damaged, as well as checking the tread wear and overall condition.
* Car Jack & Tools
Check the truck to make sure you have the appropriate tools and car jack (and that they are in good working order) for changing flats, etc.
If you have completed the above check-list and had a complete automotive service, make sure you have taken care of any deficient or broken items. Although you can never guarantee that something unforeseen may happen, you will at least be prepared for the unexpected.
Need quality automotive service? Contact our ASE Certified Technicians at Clausen Automotive by calling (608) 221-8321 or go on-line at http://clausenautomotive.com for more information. Since 1975, our family-owned automotive repair shop has proudly served vehicle owners in Madison, WI, and surrounding communities.