The condition of your vehicle is a safety factor that you, the driver, can control. You decide when the maintenance is done and at what intervals. But what are the risks when vehicle maintenance is neglected? One risk is the inability to maintain control. Another risk is a breakdown on the side of the highway. Always do a pre-trip inspection before driving fleet vehicles or applicable heavy equipment.
At regular intervals, perform a vehicle safety inspection. Check the following:
Outside the Vehicle
- Front, side, and rear glass clean
- Windshield washer fluid reservoir full
- Mirrors clean
- Headlights work (high and low beam)
- Tail lights work
- Brake lights work
- Tires show no slices, damage, or excessive wear
- Tires inflated to proper operating pressure
- Windshield wipers in good shape, not cracked or torn, and not “stuck” to the windshield
- Storage compartments closed
- Tools & equipment stowed to prevent falling from the vehicle during driving
Under the Hood
To prevent accidental ignition, put keys in the pocket when checking systems and fluids under the hood.
- Check fluids according to the owner’s manual
- Engine oil level and transmission fluid level
- Coolant level (only while engine is cold)
- Brake fluid & power steering fluid
- Fan belt for cracks, fraying, or tears
Identify leaks before they cause a breakdown!
Inside the Vehicle
- Windshield wipers function
- Windshield washer fluid activates
- Dash clear of objects that could reflect or block the field of vision
- Floorboard clear of items that could obstruct the feet/pedals during driving
- Inside of the windshield and glass clean
- Seat belt functions properly
- Engine starts & runs without excessive vibration or noise (i.e., mechanical failure)
- Scan gauges and dash for warning lights
- Fuel level full
- Do a 360-degree walkaround to verify no persons or objects are behind or beneath the vehicle.