Road Trip Automotive Maintenance Checklist

road trip car maintenance checklist

Every person likes an excellent road trip, yet if you fall short in preparing your automobile for a road trip it could mean catastrophe. Do not be deceived into thinking that your new automobile does not require an inspection, a quick mechanical check can mean the difference in a care free drive or a roadside breakdown. We’ve created a quick list of important car maintenance checks you need to do prior to your next trip.

Is My Car Prepared For A Journey?

Even if your vehicle is brand-new that does not indicate it’s ready for a lengthy journey. If your vehicle is past due for an oil change, has a tire with an air leak, or has a burnt taillight then you certainly need to get those things repaired before dreaming of the open road. Furthermore, if you do not already have an emergency kit in your car, you ought to get one prior to your next trip. Despite having all the road trip planning possible, stuff can fail. A bit of prevention can help greatly with unpredicted car difficulties.

Road Trip Safety List

Ok, you are ready to look over your car with a fine-tooth comb, but where do you start? Your road trip checklist should focus on 3 major sections: Fluids, Wheels and Tires, and Maintenance. While not an extensive checklist, if you completely inspect these areas your chances of an undisturbed road trip increases.

Check Your Fluids

  • Motor Oil – As we stated above, you’ll want to make certain that the oil has been changed recently.
  • Transmission Fluid – Be sure to consult your owner’s manual to see how often it should be replaced. If it’s past due, you’ll want to change it.
  • Radiator fluid – See to it that your antifreeze is completely full for optimal efficiency and inspect your owner’s manual to see if it ought to be changed.
  • Brake Fluid – Having the ability to brake efficiently can mean the difference between an accident or not. If you are unsure, get it checked
  • Wiper Fluid – If you’re likely to be putting in some seat time you’re most likely to hit some bugs or other road debris. See to it your wiper fluid container is full to get the crud off. Wiper fluid is pointless without excellent wipers, so change your wipers while you’re at it.


  • Tire Tread – Make certain there are no bald spots and that you have a lot of tire tread left. Double-check for any kind of leaks that require attention. If they cannot be repaired, replace them.
  • Air Pressure – See to it that your tires are aired up to the proper pressure and that they all have the same pressure in each tire.
  • Rotation – Ensure that your tires do not need to be rotated. Tires that aren’t balanced/rotated correctly can wear unevenly and have a frustrating vibration.
  • Spare Tire – Whatever you check on your primary tires, do it for your extra tire also.

General Service Items

  • Light Bulbs – Worn out headlamps and taillights can be a safety risk, so ensure they work correctly. While you are at it, check your turn indicator lights and parking lights. You can even upgrade to LED bulbs for brighter light and lower power consumption
  • Air Filter – If you resemble most of us, your air filter needed replacing years ago. It’s simple to do, isn’t very costly, and can aid with better gas mileage.
  • Belts and Hoses – If you aren’t a mechanic, this could be a little intimidating, yet it can, in fact, be quite easy. First thing is to look for cracks in the hoses, then squeeze the tubes to see if they feel fragile. Hoses ought to feel really rubbery, if they feel really weak or have splits you should replace them. Try to find leaks on your hoses, particularly where they attach to various other parts. Ultimately, checks the belts to see to it they aren’t loosely connected or have missing notches. A broken belt and/or hose can rapidly spoil your trip and your engine.
  • Battery – See to it that the battery terminals are not worn away and that the +/- terminals are tightened. If your vehicle starts slowly you might need to replace your battery.
  • Brakes – Being able to stop your car properly is key in avoiding crashes. Changing your brake fluid, replacing the brake pads, and even getting brand-new rotors may be required to have a secure vehicle for your road trip.

Test Drive Your Car Before the Road Trip

You understand your automobile better than anyone. Take it out for a fast drive to see if something really feels off. This isn’t a pleasure cruise so turn off the radio and concentrate. Does your car draw to one side when braking heavily? Does your AC blow cold air? If something feels off, you should absolutely have an expert take a look into it.

Schedule Your Car’s Road Trip Maintenance Today

Schedule your car’s road trip maintenance service at Sterling McCall Acura. We are your trusted source for all maintenance needs in the Houston area. Book an appointment by phone, in-person, or online today. Our factory-trained technicians are on hand to serve you!

Road Trip Car Maintenance in the Houston area | Sterling McCall Acura

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