How to Perform a Car Inspection Before a Track Day

Participating in a track day can be an exhilarating experience, allowing you to push your car to its limits in a controlled environment. However, to ensure both your safety and the performance of your vehicle, a thorough car inspection is essential before hitting the track. Here’s a detailed guide on how to perform a car inspection before a track day.

1. Check Tires and Wheels

Your tires and wheels are crucial for grip and handling on the track.

Tire Tread: Ensure your tires have adequate tread depth. Racing tires (slicks or semi-slicks) should be in good condition without excessive wear.

Tire Pressure: Check and adjust tire pressure according to the manufacturer’s recommendations for track use. Remember that tire pressures can increase with heat, so recheck them after a few laps.

Wheel Condition: Inspect wheels for any cracks or damage. Tighten all lug nuts to the manufacturer’s specified torque.

  1. Inspect Brakes

Brakes are one of the most critical components for track safety.

Brake Pads: Ensure your brake pads have plenty of life left. High-performance or track-specific pads are recommended for better heat resistance and stopping power.

Brake Rotors: Check for any signs of warping, cracking, or excessive wear. Replace if necessary.

Brake Fluid: Flush and replace with high-temperature brake fluid to prevent brake fade. Make sure there are no leaks and the fluid level is correct.

  1. Examine Suspension

A well-functioning suspension system improves handling and stability.

Shocks and Struts: Check for any leaks or damage. Ensure they are functioning correctly.

Bushings: Inspect suspension bushings for wear and replace if necessary. Worn bushings can affect handling and response.

Alignment: Ensure your car’s alignment is set up correctly for the track. Consider a more aggressive alignment (e.g., increased negative camber) for better cornering performance.

  1. Check Fluids

Maintaining proper fluid levels and quality is crucial for performance and reliability.

Engine Oil: Check the oil level and condition. Change the oil if it’s close to the service interval, using high-performance or synthetic oil.

Coolant: Ensure the coolant level is correct and the fluid is in good condition. Consider using a higher boiling point coolant for track use.

Transmission and Differential Fluid: Check the levels and conditions of both. Replace with high-performance fluids if necessary.

Power Steering Fluid: Ensure the fluid level is correct and there are no leaks.

  1. Inspect Belts and Hoses

Belts and hoses need to be in good condition to avoid failures on the track.

Drive Belts: Check for signs of wear, cracking, or fraying. Replace if necessary.

Hoses: Inspect all hoses for leaks, cracks, or bulges. Ensure clamps are tight and secure.

  1. Test Battery and Electrical System

A reliable electrical system is essential for track performance.

Battery: Check the battery terminals for corrosion and ensure they are tightly connected. Consider using a battery tie-down to secure it during high-speed driving.

Electrical Components: Test all lights, gauges, and switches to ensure they are functioning properly.

  1. Secure Loose Items

Loose items in the car can become dangerous projectiles during high-speed driving.

Interior: Remove any unnecessary items from the cabin, including floor mats, which can shift and interfere with pedal operation.

Trunk: Ensure the trunk is empty or that any remaining items are securely fastened.

  1. Inspect Safety Equipment

Safety should always be the top priority on the track.

Helmet: Ensure you have a proper racing helmet that meets the track’s safety standards.

Seat Belts/Harnesses: Check that your seat belts or racing harnesses are in good condition and properly secured.

Roll Cage/Roll Bar: If your car has a roll cage or roll bar, inspect it for any signs of damage or loose bolts.

  1. Check Engine Performance

Ensure your engine is running smoothly and efficiently.


Air Filter: Check and clean or replace the air filter to ensure optimal airflow.

Spark Plugs: Inspect spark plugs for wear and replace them if necessary for better combustion.

Engine Codes: Use an OBD-II scanner to check for any error codes that could indicate underlying issues.


Performing a thorough car inspection before a track day is essential for your safety and to maximize your vehicle’s performance. By following these steps, you can identify and address potential issues, ensuring your car is track-ready. Remember, the key to a successful track day is not just speed but also reliability and safety. Happy racing!