Car Maintenance Checklist for Road Trips

road trip automotive maintenance checklist

Every person enjoys a great road trip, however, if you fall short in preparing your vehicle for a road trip it can mean disaster. Do not be tricked into assuming that your new vehicle does not need to be inspected, a quick mechanical check can mean the difference in a carefree drive or a roadside malfunction. We’ve assembled a short vehicle service maintenance checklist of the most important things you ought to inspect before your next road trip.

Is My Vehicle All Set For A Journey?

Even if your automobile is brand-new that does not suggest it’s ready for a lengthy journey. If your car is past due for an oil change, has a tire with an air leak, or has a burned-out taillight then you absolutely need to get those things repaired before imagining the open road. Additionally, if you don’t currently have an emergency kit in your car, you should get one before your next road trip. Despite all the trip preparation possible, things can fail. A bit of prevention can help tremendously with unforeseen vehicle difficulties.

Road Trip Safety List

Ok, you are ready to give your automobile a once-over with a fine-tooth comb, but where do you start? Your road trip checklist should concentrate on 3 major sections: Fluids, Wheels and Tires, and Maintenance. While not an exhaustive listing, if you extensively check these areas your chances of a continuous road trip rises.


  • Engine Oil – As we pointed out above, you’ll need to see to it that the engine oil has been recently changed.
  • Transmission Fluid – Make certain to consult your owner’s manual to see the intervals at which to have it changed. If it’s past due, you’ll want to change it out.
  • Radiator fluid – Make certain that your antifreeze is completely full for optimum performance and examine your owner’s manual to see if it should be changed.
  • Brake Fluid – Being able to brake successfully can be the difference between a crash or avoiding one. If you are unsure, have it examined
  • Windshield Fluid – If you’re likely to be driving a long distance you’re most likely to hit some insects or various other road debris. Ensure your windshield wiper fluid container is full to get the gunk off. Wiper fluid is worthless without great wipers, so change your wipers while you’re at it.


  • Tire Tread – Make certain there are no bald spots and that you have plenty of tire tread left. Double-check for any kind of leaks that need to be taken care of. If they can not be fixed, change them.
  • Air Pressure – See to it that your tires are aired up to the proper pressure and that they all have equal pressure in each tire.
  • Rotation – See to it that your tires don’t need to be rotated. Tires that aren’t balanced/rotated properly can wear unevenly and have an irritating vibration.
  • Spare Tire – Whatever you look at on your main tires, do it for your extra tire too.

Regular Maintenance Items

  • Light Bulbs – Worn out headlamps and taillights can be a safety danger, so see to it that they function normally. While you are at it, inspect your turn indicator lights and parking lights. You could even update to LED light bulbs for brighter light and lower power consumption
  • Air Filter – If you’re like a lot of us, your air filter needed replacing years ago. It’s simple to do, isn’t very pricey, and can assist with better gas mileage.
  • Belts and Hoses – If you aren’t a mechanic, this could be a little challenging yet it can really be fairly straightforward. First thing is to try to find splits in the hoses, then press the tubes to see if they seem brittle. Hoses should feel really rubbery, if they feel weak or have fractures you need to change them. Look for leaks on your hoses, particularly where they connect to other parts. Ultimately, checks the belts to ensure they aren’t loosely connected or have missing notches. A damaged belt and/or hose can rapidly ruin your trip and your engine.
  • Battery – See to it that the battery terminals are not corroded and that the +/- terminals are tightened. If your automobile starts slowly you might need to replace your battery.
  • Brakes – Having the ability to stop your car competently is key in avoiding accidents. Changing your brake fluid, replacing the brake pads, and even getting brand-new rotors might be essential to have a risk-free car for your journey.

Before the Road Trip, Test Drive Your Car

You know your vehicle better than anybody. Take it out for a fast drive to see if something really feels off. This isn’t for fun so switch off the radio and concentrate. Does your automobile pull to one side when braking heavily? Does your AC blow cold air? If something feels a little off, you should have a specialist take a look into it.

Schedule Car Road Trip Maintenance Today

Schedule your car’s road trip maintenance service at Round Rock Nissan. We are your trusted source for all your vehicle maintenance needs in the Austin area. Schedule an appointment online, in-person, or by phone today. Our technicians are ready to serve you and your car or truck!

Road Trip Auto Maintenance in the Austin area | Round Rock Nissan