Inspect your vehicle before cross-country trips

  • Published
  • By Wing Safety Office
  • 71st Flying Training Wing
The holidays are a fine time to visit family and friends. If that visit involves a cross-country drive, take time to inspect your vehicle before departing. 

Here is a beginning list of things you, or a qualified mechanic, should check. You can add more items depending on your vehicle's make and model: 
Engine oil level
Cooling system hoses
Brake lines
Brake operation
Windshield wiper blades
Head lights and driving lights
Power steering hoses
Exhaust system
Parking brake operation
Fan belts
Mirrors both side and rear-view
Snow chains if applicable
Transmission fluid level
Brake lights and turn signals
Brake fluid level
Tail lights and reverse lights
Power steering fluid level
Tire wear and inflation
Tire balance and alignment
Spare tire condition and inflation
Anti-freeze level
Heater and air-conditioner functioning

You should keep the following items in your car at all times, especially during long trips:
First-aid kit
Spare fuses
Engine fluids
Flares and reflective devices
Tool kit
Extra fan belt
Drinking water
Fire extinguisher
Jumper cables
Duct or electrical tape
Jack and lug-nut wrench
Spare tire properly inflated
Sand or cat litter
Portable radio and spare batteries
Bricks or boards to prevent vehicle from rolling off a jack on a hill or incline