Automotive Maintenance Checklist for Road Trips

automotive road trip maintenance checklist

Every person likes a great road trip, yet if you fail in preparing your vehicle for a road trip it could mean disaster. Do not be misled into believing that your new vehicle doesn't need to be examined, a quick mechanical check can mean the difference in a carefree drive or a roadside breakdown. We've created a quick list of important car maintenance checks you should do prior to your next trip.

Is My Automobile Prepared For A Journey?

Just because your vehicle is new that doesn't automatically mean it's ready for a long trip. If your automobile is overdue for an oil change, has a tire with an air leak, or has a burned-out taillight then you definitely should get those things repaired before dreaming of the open road. In addition, if you don't already have an emergency kit in your vehicle, you ought to create one prior to your next road trip. Despite having all the trip planning in the world, things can break. A little bit of prevention can help immensely when presented with unexpected vehicle difficulties.

Road Trip Safety Checklist

Okay, you're ready to check your vehicle with a fine-tooth comb, but where do you begin? Your road trip checklist should focus on 3 major sections: Fluids, Wheels and Tires, and Maintenance. While not an extensive listing, if you thoroughly examine these Austins your chances of an uninterrupted trip increases.

Get Your Fluids Checked

  • Motor Oil – As we stated above, you'll need to ensure that the oil has been recently changed.
  • Transmission Fluid – Make certain to consult your owner's manual to see how often it should be replaced. If it's overdue, you'll need to change it.
  • Radiator fluid – See to it that your antifreeze is full for maximum performance and inspect your owner's manual to see if it needs to be changed.
  • Brake Fluid – Having the ability to brake effectively can mean the difference between an accident or not. If you are uncertain, have it examined
  • Wiper Fluid – If you're likely to be driving a long distance you're going to strike some insects or other road debris. Ensure your windshield wiper fluid container is full to get the crud off. Wiper fluid is useless without great wipers, so replace your wipers while you're at it.

Tire Check

  • Tread – Make certain there are no bald spots and that you have lots of tread left. Double-check for any kind of leaks that require attention. If they can not be fixed, replace them.
  • Air Pressure – Ensure that your tires are aired up to the right pressure and that it's equal in each tire.
  • Rotation – Make sure that your tires don't need to be rotated. Tires that aren't balanced/rotated correctly can wear unevenly and have an annoying vibration.
  • Spare Tire – Whatever you examine on your primary tires, do it for your extra tire too.

General Service Items

  • Light Bulbs – Burned out headlights and taillights can be a safety threat, so make sure they function correctly. While you are at it, examine your turn indicator lights and parking lights. You can even update to LED bulbs for brighter light and lower power usage
  • 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 expensive, and can aid with better gas mileage.
  • Belts and Hoses – If you aren't an auto mechanic, this might be a little daunting yet it can really be fairly straightforward. First thing is to look for splits in the hoses, then squeeze the tubes to see if they seem weak. Hoses ought to feel rubbery, if they feel fragile or have cracks you must replace them. Try to find leaks on your hoses, specifically where they connect to other parts. Ultimately, checks the belts to make sure they aren't loosely attached or have missing notches. A damaged belt and/or hose can swiftly wreck your trip and your engine.
  • Battery – See to it that the battery terminals are not worn away and that the +/- terminals are tightened. If your car starts slowly you might need to replace your battery.
  • Brakes – Being able to brake your car properly is key in avoiding collisions. Flushing your brake fluid, changing the brake pads, and even obtaining new rotors might be needed to have a safe car for your road trip.

Take It for a Test Drive

You understand your automobile much better than any person. Take it out for a quick spin to see if something really feels off. This isn't for fun so shut off the radio and concentrate. Does your car draw to one side when braking heavily? Does your Air Conditioning blow cold air? If something feels off, you should have a certified technician take a look at it.

Schedule Car's Road Trip Maintenance Today

Schedule your car's road trip maintenance service at Cedar Park Nissan. We are your trusted source for all maintenance needs in the Austin area. Schedule an appointment in-person, online, or by phone today. Our certified mechanics are standing by to serve you!

Road Trip Automotive Maintenance in the Austin area | Cedar Park Nissan