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Walk Around Aircraft Inspection


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Before you set off on a journey, do any of you have a particular routine, akin to a pilot checking the external parts of his aircraft?

Yesterday, I backed off my drive to the most horrible grinding sound from the rear. I immediately pulled back onto the drive and inspected the rear end (the car’s rear end not mine!). The nearside rear tyre was flat, a wonderful screw neatly placed in the centre! It occurred to me that I should have checked the car before setting off. It is not always apparent that one tyre may have a slow puncture, in my case it was flat.

Do any of you have a routine before setting off or a quirky habit you always follow before leaving home?

In future, I will be taking a look at the tyres each day before driving the vehicle.

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Essential ....nothing worse than reaching VR pulling back on the steering wheel and finding it doesn’t rotate into the air 😀

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I always look under the Saab to see if it's dropped any oil. And the Honda. Never on the Lexus though.

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25 minutes ago, Spacewagon52 said:

In future, I will be taking a look at the tyres each day before driving the vehicle.

Many years ago (!) a friend with an old Land Rover used to park overnight in a north London side street, facing slightly downhill.  Over the course of some months he had three nails imbedded in the near side front tyre.  He just thought he was incredibly unlucky.

Until one early morning approaching the front of the car he saw something glinting in front of the tyre.  It was a nail carefully propped up against the tread.  From then on, regular checks became routine.

Fortunately he never discovered the culprit!

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I always clean the car windows before a drive (in dry weather obviously!) and my paranoia/OCD over bird lime etching makes me check the paintwork for droppings. Delaying departure to clean any contamination irritates the wife no end...

Tyres are checked visually whilst cleaning the glass and once I've actually set-off I always check the pressures via the dash display.

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24 minutes ago, NemesisUK said:

my paranoia/OCD over bird lime etching makes me check the paintwork for droppings. Delaying departure to clean any contamination irritates the wife no end...

I had a Hyundai Stellar many years ago and had to park it under a tree. The bird droppings were terrible, as I was very busy at the time I left them for a couple of weeks. They actually "burnt" through the paintwork. Fortunately the car was still under warranty and Hyundai were determined that their first cars were not going to get a bad reputation for rust / paint defects and paid for the roof respray.

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Not checking the car adequately, including underneath for children/animals is a fail in the Japanese driving test!

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5 minutes ago, ciao_chao said:

Not checking the car adequately, including underneath for children/animals is a fail in the Japanese driving test!

Hopefully I will pass next time!

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I don't check my car but I do make sure my nails dont hit the part behind the handle to prevent scratches and I never let my feet touch the sill protector plastics.

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Tyres are indeed very vulnerable and you never know when you may get a puncture.  I have sometimes gone for years without having one, then on occasion have had two in a week.  I do often check mine and always just before a long journey when I take pressures and top up as necessary.  (My RX450h has tyre pressure monitoring, so this task is now made easier).  Whilst on this subject if you have a slow puncture, don't remove the offending nail or screw but just drive carefully to a tyre repairer unless air loss is too great.  I have a small electric pump in my car that works on 12v dc or 240v mains for use in an emergency.

I also check oil and water, including screenwash.  I also wash windscreens and clean off any bird poo, although the latter needs to be done quite frequently anyway as there are many birds near the coast where I live and they tend to use my car for target practice.  Coffee and biscuits and a tin of travel sweets go inside along with sunglasses and maps.  The TomTom goes in just before I leave. The car must have a near full tank of fuel.  Warning triangle, lamp and a few tools along with lightweight waterproofs and high viz jacket are always in car anyway.  Short journeys don't call for as many checks!

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25 minutes ago, cruisermark said:

I don't check my car but I do make sure my nails dont hit the part behind the handle to prevent scratches and I never let my feet touch the sill protector plastics.

I can’t help thinking that passengers must be a constant source of concern.  ☹️

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3 hours ago, Spacewagon52 said:

I had a Hyundai Stellar many years ago and had to park it under a tree. The bird droppings were terrible, as I was very busy at the time I left them for a couple of weeks. They actually "burnt" through the paintwork. Fortunately the car was still under warranty and Hyundai were determined that their first cars were not going to get a bad reputation for rust / paint defects and paid for the roof respray.

I would not expect that from Lexus here.

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I never ever check my car just hop in and drive off.

I DO check literally everything on a hire car though including the state of the tires and, after a bad experience, if the windscreen wipers are there.... ( really happened once in France started raining and all i had was the two stalks, no bloody wipers they were nicked! I soon found out that the droplets disappear when driing over 140km...)

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Also, maybe its just me, but I find a freshly washed car is to birds what a flame is to a moth. I feel the more I clean the car, the more I end up having to clean it!

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6 minutes ago, ciao_chao said:

Also, maybe its just me, but I find a freshly washed car is to birds what a flame is to a moth. I feel the more I clean the car, the more I end up having to clean it!

Try owning a RED car - they seem to love bombing that colour!

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15 minutes ago, Spacewagon52 said:

Try owning a RED car - they seem to love bombing that colour!

Must be how birds see colours (maybe like dogs?)

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I always check for small children or wild animals which may have been sucked into the side ducts on the front of my IS before travelling anywhere. 

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2 hours ago, LenT said:

I can’t help thinking that passengers must be a constant source of concern.  ☹️

what passengers?😀 - in my car that is a rare occurance

 

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