Road Trip Automotive Maintenance Checklist

automotive road trip maintenance checklist

Everybody loves a great road trip, however, if you fail in preparing your vehicle for a road trip it might lead to disaster. Do not be tricked into thinking that your new vehicle does not require an inspection, a fast check can mean the difference in a carefree drive or a roadside failure. We've assembled a short vehicle maintenance checklist of the top points you need to examine prior to your next journey.

Is My Car All Set for a Trip?

Even if your vehicle is new that does not indicate it's ready for a lengthy trip. If your automobile is past due for an oil change, has a tire with an air leak, or has a burnt taillight then you definitely must get those items dealt with prior to imagining the open road. Furthermore, if you don't currently have an emergency kit in your car, you ought to create one prior to your next road trip. Even with all the road trip planning possible, stuff can fail. A bit of prevention can help immensely when presented with unexpected car problems.

Road Trip Safety List

Ok, you are prepared to look over your car with a fine-tooth comb, but where do you start? Your road trip checklist should concentrate on 3 main areas: Fluids, Wheels and Tires, and Maintenance. While not an extensive list, if you extensively examine these locations your chances of a nonstop journey get better.

Don't Forget Your Fluids

  • Motor Oil - As we pointed out above, you'll need to make sure that the engine oil has been changed recently.
  • 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 need to change it.
  • Radiator fluid - Ensure that your antifreeze is full for optimal efficiency and examine your owner's manual to see if it ought to be changed.
  • Brake Fluid - Having the ability to stop properly can be the difference between an accident or avoiding one. If you are uncertain, get it checked
  • Wiper Fluid - If you're likely to be putting in some seat time you're going to hit some insects or various other roadway debris. Make sure your windshield wiper fluid container is topped off to get the crud off. Wiper fluid is pointless without great wipers, so change your wipers while you're at it.

Tires & Treads

  • Tire Tread - Make sure there are no bald spots and that you have plenty of tread left. Double-check for any kind of punctures that need to be fixed. If they cannot be fixed, replace them.
  • Air Pressure - Make sure that your tires are pumped up to the appropriate pressure and that they all have the same pressure in each tire.
  • Rotation - Make sure that your tires don't need to be rotated. Tires that aren't balanced/rotated appropriately can wear unevenly and have a bothersome vibration.
  • Spare Tire - Whatever you check on your primary tires, do it for your spare also.

Routine Service Issues

  • Light Bulbs - Burned out headlamps and taillights can be a safety threat, so make sure they function correctly. While you are at it, check your turn signal lights and parking lights. You might want to even update to LED bulbs for brighter light and reduced power consumption
  • Air Filter - If you resemble a lot of us, your air filter needed changing years ago. It's easy to do, isn't very pricey, and can aid with better gas mileage.
  • Belts and Hoses - If you aren't a mechanic, this could be a little challenging however it can, in fact, be quite easy. First thing is to try to find fractures in the hoses, after that squeeze the hoses to see if they feel weak. Hoses ought to feel really rubbery, if they feel really weak or have cracks you ought to change them. Search for leaks on your hoses, especially where they link to various other components. Lastly, checks the belts to make sure they aren't loosely affixed or have missing notches. A busted belt and/or hose can rapidly wreck your trip and your engine.
  • Battery - See to it that the battery terminals are not rusted and that the positive and negative connections are tight. If your vehicle starts slowly you might need to replace your battery.
  • Brakes - Having the ability to stop your car effectively is key in staying clear of collisions. Changing your brake fluid, replacing the brake pads, and even getting new brake rotors may be required to have a risk-free vehicle for your journey.

Before the Road Trip, Test Drive Your Car


You know your vehicle much better than any person. Take it out for a fast spin 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 under heavy braking? Does your Air Conditioner blow cold? If something feels off, you should have a certified technician take a look into it.

Schedule Road Trip Maintenance Today

Schedule your car's road trip maintenance service at Umansky Honda. We are your source for all service needs in the Charlottesville area. Schedule an appointment by phone, online, or in-person today. Our factory-trained specialists are ready to serve you!

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