Automotive Maintenance Checklist for Road Trips

road trip auto maintenance checklist

Everyone loves an excellent road trip, but if you fall short in preparing your car for a road trip it might spell catastrophe. Don’t be fooled into believing that your new automobile doesn’t need to be checked, a fast check can mean the difference in a carefree drive or a roadside malfunction. We’ve created a quick vehicle service maintenance checklist of the top things you should inspect before your next trip.

Is My Vehicle Prepared For A Trip?

Just because your vehicle is new that does not automatically mean it’s ready for a lengthy road trip. If your vehicle is overdue for an oil change, has a tire with an air leak, or has a burned-out taillight then you definitely need to get those items dealt with before dreaming of the open road. Furthermore, if you don’t currently have an emergency kit in your car, you ought to create one before your next road trip. Despite all the journey planning possible, things can go wrong. A bit of prevention can help exceptionally with unanticipated car difficulties.

Road Trip Safety List

Okay, you’re prepared to give your automobile a once-over with a fine-tooth comb, but where do you start? Your road trip checklist should concentrate on 3 primary sections: Fluids, Wheels and Tires, and Maintenance. While not an exhaustive listing, if you extensively inspect these areas your possibility of an undisturbed trip get better.


  • Oil – As we mentioned above, you’ll need to ensure that the oil has been recently changed.
  • Transmission Fluid – Be sure to consult your owner’s manual to see how often it should be replaced. If it’s overdue, you’ll need to change it out.
  • Radiator fluid – Make certain that your antifreeze is full for optimum performance and examine your owner’s manual to see if it ought to be changed.
  • Brake Fluid – Having the ability to stop successfully can be the difference between an accident or not. If you are uncertain, have it checked
  • Windshield Fluid – If you’re likely to be driving a long distance you’re going to strike some insects or other roadway debris. See to it your wiper fluid container is topped off to get the gunk off. Wiper fluid is worthless without good wipers, so change your wipers while you’re at it.


  • Tread – Ensure there are no bald spots and that you have plenty of tire tread left. Double-check for any type of punctures that need to be taken care of. If they can not be repaired, replace them.
  • Air Pressure – Ensure that your tires are pumped up to the appropriate pressure and that it’s equal in each tire.
  • Rotation – See to it that your tires do not need to be rotated. Tires that aren’t balanced/rotated correctly can wear unevenly and have an aggravating vibration.
  • Spare Tire – Whatever you look at on your primary tires, do it for your spare also.

Routine Service Issues

  • Light Bulbs – Worn out headlamps and taillights can be a safety danger, so ensure they work normally. While you are at it, inspect your directional signal lights and parking lights. You might want to also update to LED light bulbs for brighter light and reduced power usage
  • Air Filter – If you resemble a lot of us, your air filter should’ve changed years ago. It’s easy to do, isn’t really pricey, and can aid with better gas mileage.
  • Belts and Hoses – If you aren’t a mechanic, this might be a little challenging but it can, in fact, be quite straightforward. First thing is to search for cracks in the hoses, after that press the hoses to see if they seem brittle. Hoses should feel rubbery, if they feel really weak or have fractures you need to change them. Look for leaks on your hoses, specifically where they link to various 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 rapidly spoil your journey and your engine.
  • Battery – See to it that the battery terminals are not corroded and that the +/- terminals are tight. If your car starts slowly you may need a new battery.
  • Brakes – Being able to stop your vehicle properly is key in avoiding crashes. Changing your brake fluid, changing the brake pads, and obtaining new rotors might be required to have a risk-free automobile for your road trip.

Before the Road Trip, Test Drive Your Car

You understand your automobile better than anyone. Take it out for a quick drive to see if something feels off. This isn’t a pleasure cruise so switch off the radio and concentrate. Does your vehicle draw to one side under heavy braking? Does your Air Conditioner blow cold? If something feels off, you should have a certified technician take a look into it.

Schedule Your Car’s Road Trip Maintenance Today

Schedule your car road trip maintenance service at Bob Howard Nissan. We are your trusted source for all service needs in the Oklahoma City area. Schedule an appointment in-person, by phone, or online today. Our factory-trained mechanics are ready to serve you and your car or truck!

Road Trip Auto Maintenance in the Oklahoma City area | Bob Howard Nissan