automotive road trip maintenance checklist

Everyone loves a good road trip, however, if you fail in preparing your vehicle for a road trip it could spell disaster. Do not be deceived into assuming that your brand-new vehicle doesn't require an examination, a fast check can mean the difference in a carefree drive or a roadside breakdown. We've assembled a short list of important car maintenance inspections you need to do before your next journey.

Is My Automobile 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 automobile is past due for an oil change, has a tire with an air leak, or has a burned-out taillight then you definitely must get those items fixed prior to imagining the open road. Additionally, if you do not already have an emergency kit in your automobile, you should get one prior to your next trip. Despite all the trip planning in the world, things can break. A bit of prevention can help tremendously with unexpected vehicle difficulties.

Road Trip Safety Checklist

Ok, you are prepared to give your automobile a once-over with a fine-tooth comb, but where do you begin? Your road trip checklist should focus on 3 main sections: Fluids, Wheels and Tires, and Maintenance. While not an extensive checklist, if you completely check these areas your possibility of a continuous road trip rises.

Get Your Fluids Checked

  • Engine Oil - As we stated above, you'll want to ensure that the oil has been recently changed.
  • Transmission Fluid - Make certain to consult your owner's manual to see the intervals at which to have it replaced. If it's past due, you'll need to change it.
  • Radiator fluid - See to it that your antifreeze is full for maximum performance and check your owner's manual to see if it needs to be changed.
  • Brake Fluid - Being able to brake successfully can mean the difference between a crash or not. If you are not sure, get it checked
  • Wiper Fluid - If you're likely to be putting in some seat time you're most likely to strike some bugs or other roadway debris. Make certain your wiper fluid container is completely full to get the gunk off. Wiper fluid is pointless without good wipers, so change your wipers while you're there.

Tires & Treads

  • Tire Tread - Make certain there are no bald spots and that you have plenty of tire tread left. Double-check for any type of punctures that require attention. If they cannot be repaired, replace them.
  • Air Pressure - Make sure that your tires are inflated 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 an irritating vibration.
  • Spare Tire - Whatever you look at on your primary tires, do it for your spare also.

General Maintenance Items

  • Light Bulbs - Worn out headlamps and taillamps can be a safety threat, so make sure they function correctly. While you are at it, inspect your turn indicator lights and parking lights. You could even upgrade to LED bulbs for brighter light and lower power consumption
  • Air Filter - If you resemble a lot of us, your air filter needed replacing 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 might be a little daunting, yet it can really be fairly simple. First thing is to search for cracks in the hoses, then squeeze the tubes to see if they seem fragile. Hoses ought to feel rubbery, if they feel really weak or have fractures you must change them. Look for leaks on your hoses, specifically where they link to various other components. Finally, checks the belts to make sure they aren't loosely attached or have missing notches. A busted belt and/or hose can quickly ruin your trip and your engine.
  • Battery - See to it that the battery terminals are not rusted and that the +/- connections are tightened. If your car starts slowly you might need a new battery.
  • Brakes - Being able to stop your car properly is key in avoiding crashes. Changing your brake fluid, changing the brake pads, and getting new brake rotors might be essential to have a safe vehicle for your journey.

Test Drive Your Car Before the Road Trip


You know your automobile better than anyone. 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 car pull to one side when braking heavily? Does your Air Conditioner blow cold air? If something feels a little off, you should absolutely have a specialist take a look at it.

Schedule Auto Road Trip Maintenance Today

Schedule your car's road trip maintenance service at Gillman Subaru North. We are your trusted source for all of your vehicle maintenance needs in the Houston, Tx area. Schedule an appointment in-person, online, or by phone today. Our certified technicians are ready to serve you!

Automotive Road Trip Maintenance in the Houston, Tx area | Gillman Subaru North