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225 S Western Ave, Waupaca, WI 54981
1436 Neva Rd, Antigo, WI 54409
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323 S Western Ave, Waupaca, WI 54981
201 Central Bridge Street, Wausau, WI, 54401


Avoid These 7 Common Pre-Trip Inspection Mistakes

As the seasons change and the weather gets warmer, many of us are excited to hit the road for spring and summer adventures. But before embarking on your next journey, conducting a thorough pre-trip inspection is essential to ensure your vehicle is in optimal condition. 

Unfortunately, there are common mistakes that people often make during pre-trip inspections, which can lead to unexpected issues on the road.

Whether you’re cruising along the scenic roads of Waupaca, WI or planning a longer road trip, these tips from Little Wolf Auto will help you prepare your vehicle properly.

1. Neglecting Tire Inspection

Mature man checking tires while on the road while female companion looks on. Concept image of “Avoid These 7 Common Pre-Trip Inspection Mistakes” | Little Wolf Auto in Waupaca, WI.

One of the most common mistakes during pre-trip inspections is neglecting to check your tires. Adequate tire maintenance is crucial for optimal traction, handling, and safety, especially on wet roads during spring showers and summer storms.

Check for adequate tire tread depth, uneven wear patterns, and proper tire inflation. Ensure your spare tire is in good condition and properly inflated as well. 

2. Forgetting Fluid Checks

Fluids play a vital role in the vehicle’s performance, and neglecting them can lead to overheating, poor braking, or compromised visibility during rainy weather. So, before hitting the road, check the oil level and quality, coolant level, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and windshield washer fluid. 

3. Overlooking the Battery

Your car battery is often taken for granted until it fails. Before embarking on your journey, inspect the battery terminals for corrosion, ensuring a secure connection. Test the battery’s charge and consider its age; a weak battery may struggle during increased electrical demand from air conditioning and other accessories in warm weather.

4. Skipping Lighting and Signal Checks

Proper lighting is crucial for safe driving, especially during spring and summer evenings. Thus, make sure all headlights, taillights, brake lights, turn signals, and hazard lights are functioning correctly.

Check your high beams and fog lights as well. Replace any burnt-out bulbs to ensure visibility and to communicate your intentions to other drivers effectively.

5. Disregarding the Air Conditioning System

The warm weather calls for a functioning air conditioning system. It’s, therefore, crucial to test the AC system to ensure it’s blowing cold air and that all the controls are working correctly. If you notice weak airflow or insufficient cooling, it may be time for an AC recharge or servicing. You can avoid uncomfortable and sweaty drives by addressing AC issues in advance.

6. Ignoring the Braking System

Take brake maintenance seriously. Don’t ignore warning signs of potential brake problems, as they can become more pronounced during long drives or on steep terrain. 

Listen for any unusual noises or vibrations when braking and ensure there’s sufficient brake pad thickness. Also, check brake fluid levels and signs of leaks. 

7. Failing to Inspect Wipers and Washer System

Spring showers and summer storms demand well-functioning wiper blades and washer system. Clear visibility is vital for safe driving in unpredictable weather conditions. 

To be ready, start by inspecting the wiper blades for any signs of wear or damage, and replace them if necessary. Also, ensure the washer system is working correctly and that the fluid reservoir is filled. 

Get Road Trip Ready By Following These Pre-Trip Inspection Tips

By taking the time to properly inspect your vehicle, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your car is in top condition and ready to handle the challenges of the road. So, before you embark on your next spring or summer journey, make sure to avoid these common pre-trip inspection mistakes and take the necessary steps to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

Little Wolf Auto in Waupaca, WI is committed to helping you keep your vehicle in excellent condition. We can assist you with pre-trip inspections, regular maintenance, and any necessary repairs, ensuring your vehicle is reliable and ready for your upcoming adventures. 

Contact us at (715) 258-0200 or visit our full-service shop at 323 S Western Ave, Waupaca, WI, 54981. Safe travels!