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Normalise Car Inspections Before Driving

Why do I need to do a car inspection before driving?

We all remember our K53 driving test. Weeks of preparation with an extremely patient driving instructor, palms sweating as you navigated that right turn across oncoming traffic (something now so simple, right?). The exam brought with it wracked nerves on another level and the biggest part of it all was no-doubt the memorised car inspection checklist of everything you had to do — before you even set off on the actual drive.

It’s all a part of growing up, right? And while they say old habits die hard, there’s no reason why that shouldn’t be true when it comes to the vehicle inspection check — something that should remain a regular part of your driving practise.

The common car inspection before driving uses a vehicle inspection checklist to evaluate your car’s working condition, and thereby raise any issues that need attention. These car checks before driving are most predominantly performed by mechanics and safety officers during pre-start checks and regular inspections, but shouldn’t be forgotten or overlooked by every car owner out there.

Sure, car’s have evolved to the point where tech is your best friend and, short of making you a cup of coffee, your Subaru knows enough about its own wellbeing to be able to alert you when something is amiss. But we couldn’t be taken seriously as safety stalwarts if we didn’t recognise the value in the tradition of a pre-trip inspection. There’s simply no such thing as being too careful! So because it may have been many years since you got to remove that big red “L” from your mom’s car’s back window, let’s have a quick recap on the K53 vehicle inspection check pointers.

Pre-Trip Inspection

How to inspect a car before driving?

The pre-trip inspection is part of the drivers test and divided into 3 parts:

  1. Exterior inspection
  2. Instrument inspection
  3. Interior inspection

Exterior Inspection and Checklist Before Driving

  1. Starting at the driver’s door, asses the undercarriage and confirm that there are no leaks or obstructions underneath your car
  2. Check that your wiper blades are not perished or broken
  3. Check that your windscreen is not damaged
  4. Check that each tyre is secure and inflated (according to accurate pressure and thread)
  5. Check that your headlights and indicators are in working order
  6. Check that the bonnet is secure
  7. Confirm that your Engine Oil, Water, Fan Belt and Brake fluid has been checked
  8. Check that your license disk is valid
  9. Check that your car’s fuel cap is closed and secure
  10. Check that your boot lid is closed and secure
  11. Check that your rear lights and indicators are in working order

Instrument Inspection and Checklist Before Driving

After the exterior inspection and upon entering your vehicle, you’ll check that the handbrake is engaged, the car in neutral and then set the ignition to on so that you can operate the instruments.

Then check:

  1. Indicator: right
  2. Indicator: left
  3. Headlights on
  4. Bright lights on and off
  5. Headlights off
  6. Start your wipers and then switch them off
  7. Tap the hooter
  8. Put on the hazards to check both left and right sides operate simultaneously, and then switch them off

Interior Inspection and Checklist Before Driving

From the inside, driver’s seat position of your car, you should check that:

  1. your door is securely closed
  2. your seat has been adjusted
  3. your seat belt is fastened
  4. your hand brake is engaged
  5. your gear is in neutral
  6. all three mirrors are adjusted
  7. there are no loose items or obstructions on the dashboard
  8. there are no loose items or obstructions near the pedals

There’s nothing wrong with making the vehicle inspection check a part of your everyday driving experience. Rather than “should have… would have… could have…” — why not work on good habits rather than having to compensate for bad ones? The advantages of doing so are obvious, not just a car inspection before a long trip, but everyday!

If you would like to know more about everything your Subaru can do for you, call us on +27 11 608 0116 or email info@subaru.co.za and a skilled member of our team will be happy to assist you. Alternatively, use our store locator to find your nearest dealership, and of course if you’re looking to experience any of our six incredible models first-hand, get behind the steering wheel by booking your test drive today.

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