*Physical Check Of Preps That Are Seldom Used*
By: Landwire
28 October 2009

After reading an article on a transmission fluid change somewhere in the BOV area, I purchased a siphon bulb hose at my local Kragen Auto Parts. They wanted way too much for the fluid so I figure I get that at Wallyworld. I place the package in a toolbox in my trunk organizer (future article) and off I went. Found the transmission fluid a few days later. Went to retrieve the siphon hose today and it was partially covered in some sort of oily mixture. The toolbox contains some jumper cables, trailer hitch for the car, several bottles of various fluids like brake, oil, etc... and some other items. I just did a prep check a few days prior and all seemed well. Or so I thought.

I pulled the toolbox out and emptied the contents. A small bottle of brake fluid and oil had fallen over and was lodged sideways under the large jumper cables. Due to how much stuff I had crammed in the box, it was impossible to see that anything was wrong until I pulled the toolbox out of the trunk. When I did my prep check, I just did a cursory look-over. I did not use a checklist or anything of the sort.

It took about an hour to properly clean things up. The various bottles of fluids will be taken in for recycling tomorrow. The battery to the Makita drill was severely damaged from the trailer hitch. The charger appears to be ok, but I can't test it due to the battery. Some safely glasses I forgot about were broken in many pieces.

I was fortunate that I just lost a battery, safety glasses and a few bucks worth of fluids. Had I needed them, things would have been dicey. I last used the jumper cables about 2 years ago and things could have leaked anytime after that. Since then, I have gone on several long road trips, many camping trips pulling the trailer and being in places where I would there were no nearby stores. I was lucky this time, next time I might not be.

I am creating a checklist of everything that I would need to check in a timely manner. When I do my checks, I will be pulling various things out to physically make sure they are ok instead of a quick look over.


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