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By Ryan Cox
Director, Allied Consumer Moving
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Cross Country Moves: The Ultimate Vehicle Inspection Guide

When relocating cross country, many people often decide to drive their own cars in an attempt to save money. Vehicle transportation can be a costly service; therefore, driving your own car is a wise financial decision to make during your relocation. So, if you decide to drive your own vehicle during your cross country move, you will need to properly inspect it before hitting the road. This guide will help you to properly prepare your vehicle for an upcoming relocation.

Prior to your move, you should make sure to check the following:

  • Fluid LevelsFluid

    One of the first things that you should check before your move are the various fluid levels in your car. Such fluids include engine oil, washer fluid, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, and brake fluid. Checking these levels prior to your move is vital to keeping your car running smoothly during your relocation. Failure to give these fluid levels proper attention can result in intense damage to your car or even cause severe problems on the road.  In order to avoid either one of those setbacks, you should allow a professional to thoroughly examine your car prior to your move.

  • Tires

    Examining various aspects of your tires is a crucial step in conducting a thorough examination of your vehicle before a relocation. The first thing to check on your tires is the air pressure. You will need to ensure that the pressure is neither too high nor too low. Tire pressure that is too high can cause it to burst while traveling. On the other hand, tire pressure that is too low can cause a flat during your relocation to your new home.

    While inspecting your tires, you should also test the tread of your tires to ensure that they are safe for the road. There are numerous ways that you can check your tire tread. If your tread is too worn, it would be in your best interests to replace your tires.  This may be an expensive undertaking; however, making sure that everything with your tires are in order is a crucial step in preparing your vehicle for the road.

  • Brakesbreaks

    It goes without saying that you should also inspect your brakes prior to your move. If your brakes are too worn, this could quickly become a serious concern during a cross country relocation. There are various warning signs that will point towards the need for new brakes.  If your brakes are squeaking, not as responsive, or vibrating, then these are signs of a serious problem. After noticing any of these signs, take your vehicle to a professional to have it properly inspected. Traveling long distance with anything less than perfect brakes is extremely dangerous and is an undertaking that should not be taken lightly.

  • Battery

    Dead battery are two words you do not want to hear while driving your car cross country. Most local auto part stores will check the strength of your battery for free. This will prove beneficial because you will be able to determine rather or not it is time to replace your battery prior to your move. You should also examine your battery and see if there is any buildup on the battery terminal. Cleaning your battery terminal is a simple task that can be done at home. Checking the battery strength and for any possible corrosion before you move will prevent you from breaking down on the road to your new home.

  • Lightslights

    Another aspect of your car inspection that you can take care of yourself is checking to make sure all of the external lights are in perfect working order. When relocating cross country, it is extremely likely that you will travel at night. The last thing you will want to do is ride around at night with faulty lights. Ask for the assistance of a family member or friend. While one person sits in the car and turns on each light one by one, the other can stand outside the car and ensure that they are functioning properly.  If everything is in perfect working order, you may still need to take extra precautions. Packing spare lights with you on the trip like headlights, reverse lights, and tail lights will be beneficial in the event that a light goes out on the road.

  • Timing Belts

    Many people fail to realize the importance of checking the timing belts prior to traveling a long distance trip. Knowing exactly what a timing belt is and how it functions in your car will help you recognize the significance of making sure it is in tip top shape prior to your relocation. Because there are no warning signs for a failing timing belt, it is in your best interest to let a professional inspect your car before your trip. Replacing a timing belt is not a quick task; therefore, this is not something that you should wait until the last minute to complete.  When your timing belt fails, your engine will completely stop working— a risk you shouldn’t take before heading out on a cross country move.

Properly inspecting every aspect of your car before driving cross country will help your relocation move in a smooth manner. Fluid levels, tires, brakes, battery, lights, and timing belts are just a few things on your car you should take care of before your move. To simplify this process, you can hire a trusted mechanic to perform a detailed tune up. Some of the items in this article may not be included in a tune up; therefore, it is vital that you inform the mechanic about everything you want checked on your vehicle. Making sure that your automobile is ready for your cross country move is one of the first steps in conducting a successful relocation. Doing this prior to your move will also properly prepare your car for life in your new home town. So, if you plan on driving your car cross country during your upcoming move, make sure that you have crossed all of your T’s and dotted all of your I’s.