- Check all the major fluids, including engine oil, power-steering fluid, brake fluid and transmission
fluid— and don’t forget the antifreeze/coolant.
- Make sure the windshield washer solvent container is topped off.
- Check the engine’s belts and hoses, which can become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs
of excessive wear—especially if you didn’t look under the hood during the cold months of the winter.
They are critical to the proper function not only of the engine, but the electrical system, air conditioning,
power steering and cooling systems.
- Check the tires’ air pressure and tread condition. Proper air pressure helps optimize fuel economy and
reduce tire wear, while poor tread condition and other problems, such as bald spots or uneven wear,
can potentially cause tire problems on a long trip.
- Replace the windshield wiper blades if they’ve been chattering, smearing or streaking.
- Check the function of the exterior lights, including the headlamps, turn signals, taillamps and brake
lamps. Recruit someone to help by having him or her stand near the front and rear of the car as you
activate the various lights.