Car Maintenance Checklist for Road Trips

road trip auto maintenance checklist

Everyone enjoys a great road trip, but if you fall short in preparing your automobile for a road trip it can lead to disaster. Do not be tricked into assuming that your brand-new car does not need to be inspected, a fast mechanical check can mean the difference in a carefree drive or a roadside failure. We’ve created a short car maintenance checklist of the top points you must inspect before your next trip.

Is My Car Ready For A Trip?

Even if your vehicle is brand-new that doesn’t automatically mean it’s ready for a long journey. If your vehicle is overdue for an oil change, has a tire with an air leak, or has a burnt tail light then you absolutely need to get those things fixed prior to dreaming of the open road. Furthermore, if you do not already have an emergency kit in your vehicle, you should create one prior to your next trip. Even with all the journey planning possible, things can fail. A bit of prevention can help immensely when presented with unpredicted vehicle troubles.

Safety Checklist for Road Trips

Okay, you’re prepared to look over your vehicle 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 exhaustive listing, if you completely inspect these locations your chances of an undisturbed road trip rises.


  • Oil – As we stated above, you’ll need to make certain that the engine oil has been changed recently.
  • Transmission Fluid – Be sure to consult your owner’s manual to see how often it should be changed. If it’s past due, you’ll need to change it.
  • Radiator fluid – Ensure that your antifreeze is full for optimal efficiency and inspect your owner’s manual to see if it needs to be changed.
  • Brake Fluid – Being able to brake efficiently can be the difference between a crash or avoiding one. If you are unclear, get it examined
  • Windshield Fluid – If you’re going to be driving a long distance you’re going to strike some insects or various other roadway debris. Make sure your windshield wiper fluid container is full to get the gunk off. Wiper fluid is ineffective without great wipers, so replace your wipers while you’re at it.

Check Your Tires

  • Tire Tread – Make sure there are no bald spots and that you have a lot of tread left. Double-check for any type of leaks that require attention. If they can not be repaired, replace them.
  • Air Pressure – Make sure that your tires are pumped up to the right 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 appropriately can wear unevenly and have a frustrating vibration.
  • Spare Tire – Whatever you examine on your primary tires, do it for your spare also.

General Maintenance 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, examine your turn signal lights and parking lights. You could also update to LED bulbs for brighter light and lower power usage
  • Air Filter – If you resemble most of us, your air filter should’ve replaced years ago. It’s easy to do, isn’t very pricey, and can help with better gas mileage.
  • Belts and Hoses – If you aren’t an auto mechanic, this could be a little challenging however it can actually be rather basic. First thing is to look for cracks in the hoses, after that squeeze the tubes to see if they feel fragile. Hoses should feel really rubbery, if they feel really breakable or have cracks you need to change them. Search for leaks on your hoses, particularly where they connect to other components. Ultimately, checks the belts to make certain they aren’t loosely affixed or have missing notches. A busted belt and/or hose can swiftly spoil your trip and your engine.
  • Battery – See to it that the battery terminals are not rusted and that the positive and negative connections are tightened. If your vehicle starts slowly you may require a new battery.
  • Brakes – Being able to stop your car competently is key in preventing accidents. Flushing your brake fluid, replacing the brake pads, and getting brand-new rotors may be essential to have a risk-free automobile for your journey.

Test Drive Your Car Before the Road Trip

You know your automobile far 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 car draw to one side when braking heavily? Does your Air Conditioner blow cold air? If something feels off, you should have a specialist take a look into it.

Schedule Your Vehicle’s Road Trip Maintenance Today

Schedule your car road trip maintenance service at Ascension Honda. We are your source for all vehicle maintenance needs in the Baton Rouge, LA area. Schedule an appointment online, in-person, or by phone today. Our technicians are standing by to serve you and your vehicle!

Road Trip Automotive Maintenance in the Baton Rouge, LA area | Ascension Honda

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