Automotive Maintenance Checklist for Road Trips

road trip automotive maintenance checklist

Every person loves a great road trip, but if you fall short in preparing your automobile for a road trip it might mean catastrophe. Don’t be fooled into assuming that your new car doesn’t need to be evaluated, a quick check can mean the difference in a carefree drive or a roadside breakdown. We’ve put together a quick vehicle service maintenance checklist of the top points you should inspect prior to your next journey.

Is My Automobile All Set For A Trip?

Even if your vehicle is new that does not automatically mean it’s ready for a long 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 most definitely should get those things taken care of prior to dreaming of the open road. Furthermore, if you do not currently have an emergency kit in your automobile, you ought to create one prior to your next road trip. Even with all the journey planning on the planet, stuff can go wrong. A little bit of prevention can help greatly with unpredicted car troubles.

Road Trip Safety Checklist

Ok, you’re ready to look over your car 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 exhaustive list, if you thoroughly examine these areas your possibility of an uninterrupted journey increases.


  • Engine Oil – As we pointed out above, you’ll want to ensure that the 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 want to change it.
  • Radiator fluid – Ensure that your antifreeze is completely full for optimum efficiency and check your owner’s manual to see if it ought to be changed.
  • Brake Fluid – Being able to stop effectively can be the difference between a collision or not. If you are not sure, have it inspected
  • Wiper Fluid – If you’re going to be driving a long distance you’re most likely to strike some insects or various other road debris. See to it your wiper fluid container is full to get the crud off. Wiper fluid is worthless without excellent wipers, so replace your wipers while you’re there.

Tire Check

  • Tire Tread – Make sure there are no bald spots and that you have plenty of tire tread left. Double-check for any kind of punctures that require attention. If they can not be repaired, replace them.
  • Air Pressure – Ensure that your tires are aired up to the proper pressure and that it’s equal in each tire.
  • Rotation – Make certain 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 main tires, do it for your spare also.

Routine Service Items

  • Light Bulbs – Burned out headlights and taillamps can be a safety hazard, so make certain they function correctly. While you are at it, inspect your directional signal lights and parking lights. You can even upgrade to LED light bulbs for brighter light and lower power consumption
  • Air Filter – If you resemble a lot of us, your air filter should’ve changed 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 tech, this might be a little intimidating yet it can actually be quite straightforward. First thing is to look for cracks in the hoses, then press the tubes to see if they seem weak. Hoses should feel rubbery, if they feel really breakable or have fractures you need to change them. Try to find leaks on your hoses, especially where they connect to various other components. Ultimately, checks the belts to make sure they aren’t loosely attached or have missing notches. A busted belt and/or hose can rapidly spoil your trip and your engine.
  • Battery – Check to ensure the battery terminals are not corroded and that the positive and negative connections are tight. If your automobile starts slowly you might need to replace your battery.
  • Brakes – Having the ability to stop your automobile properly is key in preventing collisions. Changing your brake fluid, changing the brake pads, and obtaining new rotors may be essential to have a risk-free automobile for your journey.

Test Drive Your Car Before the Road Trip

You understand your automobile better than any person. Take it out for a fast spin to see if something feels off. This isn’t a pleasure cruise so switch off the radio and concentrate. Does your automobile pull to one side under heavy braking? Does your Air Conditioner blow cold? If something feels off, you should have a specialist take a look at it.

Schedule Your Car’s Road Trip Maintenance Today

Schedule your car road trip maintenance service at Sterling McCall Toyota. We are your source for all maintenance needs in the Houston area. Schedule an appointment by phone, online, or in-person today. Our certified mechanics are standing by to serve you!

Road Trip Car Maintenance in the Houston area | Sterling McCall Toyota

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Sterling McCall Toyota

9400 Southwest Freeway Houston, TX

Phone: (713) 270-3900


Phone: (888) 919-0279

9400 Southwest Freeway Houston, TX


Phone: (888) 919-0279

9400 Southwest Freeway Houston, TX


Phone: (713) 270-3951

9400 Southwest Freeway Houston, TX
29.679567 -95.539371
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Sterling McCall Toyota
Sterling McCall Toyota
9400 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX, 77074 US
(713) 270-3900
Sterling McCall Toyota 29.679567, -95.539371.