road trip car maintenance checklist

Everyone enjoys an excellent road trip, but if you fail in preparing your vehicle for a road trip it might mean catastrophe. Do not be misled into believing that your brand-new car doesn't require an evaluation, a quick check can mean the difference in a carefree drive or a roadside breakdown. We've created a quick automobile maintenance checklist of the top things you should check prior to your next trip.

Is My Automobile Prepared For A Trip?

Even if your vehicle is brand-new that doesn't suggest it's ready for a long trip. If your vehicle is overdue for an oil change, has a tire with an air leak, or has a burnt taillight then you most definitely need to get those items fixed prior to dreaming of the open road. Additionally, if you don't currently have an emergency kit in your car, you must create one before your next road trip. Even with all the road trip planning possible, stuff can break. A little bit of prevention can help greatly when presented with unanticipated car difficulties.

Safety Checklist for Road Trips

Okay, you're ready to give your vehicle with a fine-tooth comb, but where do you start? Your road trip checklist should focus on 3 primary areas: Fluids, Wheels and Tires, and Maintenance. While not an exhaustive list, if you extensively inspect these areas your possibility of a nonstop trip get better.


  • Motor Oil - As we mentioned above, you'll need to ensure that the engine oil has been changed recently.
  • Transmission Fluid - Make certain to consult your owner's manual to see the intervals at which to have it replaced. If it's past due, 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 be the difference between a collision or avoiding one. If you are not sure, get it checked
  • Windshield Fluid - If you're going to be putting in some seat time you're going to strike some bugs or other road debris. Make certain 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.

Check Your Tires

  • Tread - See to it there are no bald spots and that you have plenty of tire tread left. Double-check for any punctures that need to be taken care of. If they can not be repaired, replace 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 - See to it that your tires don't need to be rotated. Tires that aren't balanced/rotated correctly can wear unevenly and have a bothersome vibration.
  • Spare Tire - Whatever you check on your primary tires, do it for your spare as well.

Routine Service Items

  • Light Bulbs - Worn out headlights and taillamps can be a safety hazard, so see to it that they function correctly. While you are at it, check your turn signal lights and parking lights. You can also update to LED bulbs for brighter light and lower power consumption
  • Air Filter - If you resemble the majority of us, your air filter needed changing years ago. It's simple 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 intimidating but it can really be rather easy. First thing is to search for fractures in the hoses, after that press the hoses to see if they seem fragile. Hoses ought to feel really rubbery, if they feel fragile or have cracks you ought to change them. Look for leaks on your hoses, specifically where they connect to other components. Ultimately, checks the belts to make certain they aren't loosely attached or have missing notches. A broken belt and/or hose can rapidly destroy your trip and your engine.
  • Battery - Look to make sure the battery terminals are not rusted and that the +/- connections are tight. If your car starts slowly you may require a new battery.
  • Brakes - Having the ability to stop your car capably is key in staying clear of accidents. Changing your brake fluid, changing the brake pads, and getting brand-new brake rotors might be required to have a risk-free vehicle for your road trip.

Take It for a Test Drive


You understand your vehicle far better than anybody. Take it out for a fast spin to see if something really feels off. This isn't for fun so shut off the radio and concentrate. Does your vehicle pull to one side under heavy braking? Does your Air Conditioner blow cold? If something feels off, you should absolutely have a specialist take a look at it.

Schedule Your Auto Road Trip Maintenance Today

Schedule your car's road trip maintenance service at Umansky Subaru. We are your source for all your vehicle service needs in the Charlottesville, VA area. Schedule an appointment in-person, by phone, or online today. Our certified experts are standing by to serve you and your vehicle!

Auto Road Trip Maintenance in the Charlottesville, VA area | Umansky Subaru