The Ultimate Automotive Maintenance Checklist for Road Trips

road trip auto maintenance checklist

Everyone loves a good road trip, however, if you fall short in preparing your automobile for a road trip it might mean disaster. Don’t be tricked into believing that your brand-new automobile doesn’t need to be checked, a fast mechanical check can mean the difference in a carefree drive or a roadside failure. We’ve put together a short automotive maintenance checklist of the most important things you ought to examine prior to your next trip.

Is My Vehicle Ready For A Journey?

Just because your car is new that does not mean it’s ready for a long 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 absolutely need to get those items fixed prior to dreaming of the open road. In addition, if you do not currently have an emergency kit in your vehicle, you should get one before your next road trip. Even with all the road trip preparation in the world, things can go wrong. A little bit of prevention can help immensely when presented with unforeseen vehicle troubles.

Safety List for Road Trips

Okay, you’re prepared to look over your automobile with a fine-tooth comb, but where do you start? Your road trip checklist should focus on 3 primary sections: Fluids, Wheels and Tires, and Maintenance. While not an extensive listing, if you thoroughly check these areas your possibility of a continuous road trip increases.


  • Motor Oil – As we discussed above, you’ll want to make sure that the engine oil has been changed recently.
  • Transmission Fluid – Make sure to consult your owner’s manual to see how often it should be changed. If it’s past due, you’ll want to change it.
  • Radiator fluid – Make certain that your antifreeze is completely full for optimal efficiency and examine your owner’s manual to see if it should be changed.
  • Brake Fluid – Having the ability to stop efficiently can be the difference between a collision or avoiding one. If you are not sure, have it inspected
  • Wiper Fluid – If you’re likely to be putting in some seat time you’re most likely to strike some insects or other roadway debris. Ensure your windshield wiper fluid container is full to get the gunk off. Wiper fluid is ineffective without great wipers, so change your wipers while you’re there.

Check Your Tires

  • Tire Tread – Ensure there are no bald spots and that you have plenty of tread left. Double-check for any type of cuts that require attention. If they can not be repaired, change them.
  • Air Pressure – See to it that your tires are pumped up to the right pressure and that it’s equal in each tire.
  • Rotation – Make sure that your tires do not need to be rotated. Tires that aren’t balanced/rotated properly can wear unevenly and have a frustrating vibration.
  • Spare Tire – Whatever you examine on your primary tires, do it for your spare tire as well.

General Service Issues

  • Light Bulbs – Burned out headlights and taillamps can be a safety hazard, so make certain they work normally. While you are at it, check your directional signal lights and parking lights. You can also update to LED light bulbs for brighter light and reduced power consumption
  • Air Filter – If you resemble the majority of us, your air filter needed replacing years ago. It’s simple to do, isn’t really pricey, and can help with better gas mileage.
  • Belts and Hoses – If you aren’t an auto mechanic, this could be a little daunting however it can actually be quite simple. First thing is to try to find splits in the hoses, after that press the hoses to see if they feel weak. Hoses need to feel really rubbery, if they feel really weak or have cracks you must replace them. Try to find leaks on your hoses, specifically where they link to other components. Lastly, checks the belts to make certain they aren’t loosely affixed or have missing notches. A broken belt and/or hose can rapidly destroy your trip and your engine.
  • Battery – Look to make certain the battery terminals are not worn away and that the positive and negative terminals are tight. If your car starts slowly you may need a new battery.
  • Brakes – Being able to stop your car effectively is key in preventing collisions. Changing your brake fluid, changing the brake pads, and even obtaining new rotors could be required to have a secure car for your road trip.

Before the Road Trip, Test Drive Your Car

You know your car far better than anyone. Take it out for a fast spin to see if something feels off. This isn’t for fun so shut off the radio and concentrate. Does your vehicle draw to one side under heavy braking? Does your AC blow cold? If something feels off, you should absolutely have a specialist take a look into it.

Schedule Auto Road Trip Maintenance Today

Schedule your car road trip maintenance service at Gallatin Honda. We are your source for all maintenance needs in the Nashville, Tennessee area. Book an appointment by phone, in-person, or online today. Our certified mechanics are on hand to serve you!


Automotive Road Trip Maintenance in the Nashville, Tennessee area | Gallatin Honda

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Very helpful service department and beautiful, clean dealership. Tim was Very kind and courteous.

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