Automotive Maintenance Checklist for Road Trips

road trip automotive maintenance checklist

Everybody enjoys a good road trip, yet if you fall short in preparing your automobile for a road trip it could lead to disaster. Do not be tricked into believing that your new car doesn’t require an inspection, a fast check can mean the difference in a carefree drive or a roadside failure. We’ve created a quick list of important car maintenance examinations you should do before your next trip.

Is My Vehicle All Set For A Trip?

Even if your automobile is brand-new that doesn’t mean it’s ready for a lengthy journey. If your car is overdue for an oil change, has a tire with an air leak, or has a burned-out taillight then you definitely should get those things fixed prior to dreaming of the open road. Furthermore, if you don’t already have an emergency kit in your automobile, you should get one prior to your next trip. Even with all the road trip planning possible, stuff can break. A little bit of prevention can help exceptionally with unanticipated automobile problems.

Road Trip Safety Checklist

Ok, you are prepared to give your vehicle with a fine-tooth comb, but where do you start? Your road trip checklist should focus on 3 primary sections: Fluids, Wheels and Tires, and Maintenance. While not an exhaustive checklist, if you thoroughly check these areas your chances of an undisturbed journey rises.


  • Engine Oil – As we discussed above, you’ll want to make sure that the engine oil has been recently changed.
  • Transmission Fluid – Be sure to consult your owner’s manual to see the intervals at which to have it replaced. If it’s past due, you’ll want to change it.
  • Radiator fluid – Make sure that your antifreeze is completely full for optimum efficiency and check your owner’s manual to see if it ought to be changed.
  • Brake Fluid – Being able to stop successfully can be the difference between a collision or not. If you are uncertain, get it checked
  • Wiper Fluid – If you’re likely to be driving a long distance you’re going to hit some insects or various other road debris. Make sure your wiper fluid container is completely full to get the crud off. Wiper fluid is pointless without excellent wipers, so change your wipers while you’re there.


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

Routine Service Issues

  • Light Bulbs – Worn out headlights and taillights can be a safety threat, so see to it that they function normally. While you are at it, inspect your turn indicator lights and parking lights. You could also upgrade to LED light bulbs for brighter light and reduced power usage
  • Air Filter – If you resemble the majority of us, your air filter should’ve replaced years ago. It’s simple to do, isn’t really costly, and can aid with better gas mileage.
  • Belts and Hoses – If you aren’t an auto technician, this could be a little intimidating but it can actually be rather straightforward. First thing is to search for fractures in the hoses, then press the hoses to see if they seem weak. Hoses should feel really rubbery, if they feel weak or have fractures you ought to change them. Try to find leaks on your hoses, specifically where they attach to various other components. Finally, checks the belts to see to it that they aren’t loosely attached or have missing notches. A damaged belt and/or hose can rapidly ruin your journey and your engine.
  • Battery – Look to ensure the battery terminals are not worn away and that the positive and negative terminals are tightened. If your automobile starts slowly you might need a new battery.
  • Brakes – Having the ability to stop your car effectively is key in preventing accidents. Changing your brake fluid, replacing the brake pads, and obtaining brand-new rotors could be essential to have a safe vehicle for your trip.

Take It for a Test Drive

You know your car better than any person. Take it out for a fast spin to see if something feels off. This isn’t a pleasure cruise so shut off the radio and concentrate. Does your automobile pull to one side under heavy braking? Does your Air Conditioner blow cold? If something feels a little off, you should absolutely have a certified technician take a look at it.

Schedule Vehicle’s Road Trip Maintenance Today

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

Auto Road Trip Maintenance in the Houston area | Sterling McCall Nissan