The Ultimate Road Trip Car Maintenance Checklist

automotive road trip maintenance checklist

Everybody loves an excellent road trip, however, if you fall short in preparing your vehicle for a road trip it might spell catastrophe. Don’t be tricked into thinking that your brand-new vehicle does not need to be inspected, a fast check can mean the difference in a carefree drive or a roadside breakdown. We’ve created a quick automobile service maintenance checklist of the top points you should examine prior to your next trip.

Is My Car Ready For A Journey?

Even if your car is new that does not automatically mean it’s ready for a lengthy road trip. 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 most definitely need to get those items fixed prior to imagining the open road. Additionally, if you do not already have an emergency kit in your car, you must get one before your next journey. Despite having all the road trip preparation in the world, things can fail. A bit of prevention can help greatly with unpredicted automobile troubles.

Road Trip Safety Checklist

Okay, you’re prepared to go over your automobile with a fine-tooth comb, but where do you start? Your road trip checklist should focus on 3 main areas: Fluids, Wheels and Tires, and Maintenance. While not an exhaustive listing, if you completely check these areas your possibility of a nonstop road trip rises.


  • Motor Oil – As we mentioned above, you’ll want to make certain that the engine oil has been recently changed.
  • Transmission Fluid – Make sure to consult your owner’s manual to see the intervals at which to have it changed. If it’s overdue, you’ll want to change it.
  • Radiator fluid – Make certain that your antifreeze is completely full for optimal performance and check your owner’s manual to see if it ought to be changed.
  • Brake Fluid – Being able to brake effectively can mean the difference between an accident or avoiding one. If you are uncertain, get it checked
  • Wiper Fluid – If you’re likely to be driving a long distance you’re most likely to strike some insects or other roadway debris. Make sure your wiper fluid container is topped off to get the crud off. Wiper fluid is ineffective without good wipers, so replace your wipers while you’re there.

Tires & Treads

  • Tread – Make sure there are no bald spots and that you have a lot of tread left. Double-check for any type of cuts that require attention. If they can not be fixed, change them.
  • Air Pressure – Make sure that your tires are inflated to the right 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 appropriately can wear unevenly and have a frustrating vibration.
  • Spare Tire – Whatever you look at on your main tires, do it for your spare tire too.

Routine Maintenance Items

  • Light Bulbs – Burned out headlights and taillights can be a safety risk, so see to it that they work normally. While you are at it, inspect your turn indicator lights and parking lights. You could also update to LED light bulbs for brighter light and reduced power consumption
  • Air Filter – If you’re like a lot of us, your air filter needed replacing years ago. It’s easy to do, isn’t very costly, and can assist with better gas mileage.
  • Belts and Hoses – If you aren’t a mechanic, this could be a little daunting however it can, in fact, be quite simple. First thing is to look for cracks in the hoses, after that squeeze the hoses to see if they seem brittle. Hoses ought to feel really rubbery, if they feel breakable or have splits you need to change them. Search for leaks on your hoses, especially where they connect to other components. Finally, checks the belts to see to it they aren’t loosely connected or have missing notches. A broken belt and/or hose can quickly wreck your road trip and your engine.
  • Battery – Check to make sure the battery terminals are not corroded and that the +/- terminals are tight. If your car starts slowly you may require a new battery.
  • Brakes – Having the ability to break your vehicle properly is key in avoiding crashes. Flushing your brake fluid, changing the brake pads, and getting new brake rotors could be necessary to have a risk-free vehicle for your road trip.

Test Drive Your Car Before the Road Trip

You know your car much better than anyone. Take it out for a quick spin to see if something feels off. This isn’t for fun so turn off the radio and concentrate. Does your automobile draw to one side under heavy braking? Does your Air Conditioner blow cold air? If something feels off, you should absolutely have an expert take a look at it.

Schedule Your Road Trip Maintenance Today

Schedule your car road trip maintenance service at Town North Nissan. We are your source for all maintenance needs in the Austin area. Book an appointment in-person, online, or by phone today. Our mechanics are standing by to serve you and your car!

Road Trip Automotive Maintenance in the Austin area | Town North Nissan