The Ultimate Automotive Maintenance Checklist for Road Trips

car road trip maintenance checklist

Everybody enjoys a great road trip, but if you fall short in preparing your vehicle for a road trip it can spell disaster. Don’t be tricked into believing that your new car does not need to be checked, a quick check can mean the difference in a carefree drive or a roadside malfunction. We’ve assembled a quick vehicle maintenance checklist of the top points you ought to examine prior to your next journey.

Is My Automobile Ready For A Journey?

Even if your car is brand-new that does not indicate it’s ready for a lengthy road trip. If your car is past due for an oil change, has a tire with an air leak, or has a burnt taillight then you certainly must get those things fixed prior to dreaming of the open road. Additionally, if you do not currently have an emergency kit in your vehicle, you ought to create one before your next journey. Even with all the road trip planning on the planet, stuff can fail. A bit of prevention can help greatly with unforeseen car problems.

Road Trip Safety List

Okay, you’re ready to look over your automobile with a fine-tooth comb, but where do you start? Your road trip checklist should concentrate on 3 major areas: Fluids, Wheels and Tires, and Maintenance. While not an extensive checklist, if you completely check these locations your possibility of an undisturbed road trip get better.


  • Motor Oil – As we pointed out above, you’ll need to make sure that the engine oil has been changed recently.
  • Transmission Fluid – Be sure 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 completely full for maximum performance and inspect your owner’s manual to see if it needs to be changed.
  • Brake Fluid – Being able to stop efficiently can mean the difference between an accident or avoiding one. If you are not sure, have it inspected
  • Wiper Fluid – If you’re going to be putting in some seat time you’re going to hit some insects or other roadway debris. Make certain your wiper fluid container is topped off to get the gunk off. Wiper fluid is worthless without great wipers, so replace your wipers while you’re at it.

Check Your Tires

  • Tire Tread – See to it there are no bald spots and that you have lots of tire tread left. Double-check for any punctures that need to be dealt with. If they can not be repaired, change them.
  • Air Pressure – See to it 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 examine on your primary tires, do it for your spare as well.

Routine Maintenance Items

  • Light Bulbs – Burned out headlights and taillamps can be a safety hazard, so make sure they function correctly. While you are at it, examine your turn signal lights and parking lights. You can even update to LED light 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 easy to do, isn’t really expensive, and can aid with better gas mileage.
  • Belts and Hoses – If you aren’t an auto technician, this might be a little challenging but it can really be fairly easy. First thing is to search for cracks in the hoses, after that squeeze the tubes to see if they feel weak. Hoses should feel really rubbery, if they feel brittle or have cracks you ought to change them. Search for leaks on your hoses, specifically where they link to other parts. Finally, checks the belts to see to it they aren’t loosely connected or have missing notches. A damaged belt and/or hose can rapidly wreck your road trip and your engine.
  • Battery – See to it that the battery terminals are not worn away and that the positive and negative connections are tightened. If your vehicle starts slowly you may require a new battery.
  • Brakes – Having the ability to stop your vehicle effectively is key in preventing collisions. Changing your brake fluid, replacing the brake pads, and even obtaining brand-new brake rotors might be necessary to have a secure automobile for your journey.

Take a Test Drive

You understand your vehicle much better than anybody. Take it out for a fast spin to see if something really feels off. This isn’t a pleasure cruise so shut off the radio and concentrate. Does your automobile draw to one side when braking heavily? Does your AC blow cold air? If something feels off, you should absolutely have a certified technician take a look into it.

Schedule Your Auto Road Trip Maintenance Today

Schedule your car road trip maintenance service at Advantage BMW of Clear Lake. We are your trusted source for all your vehicle service needs in the Houston area. Book a car maintenance appointment by phone, online, or in-person today. Our certified mechanics are ready to serve you and your car or truck!

Car Road Trip Maintenance in the Houston area | Advantage BMW of Clear Lake

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Google May 28, 2020

I've dealt with many dealerships but their service department is top notched. I always leave the impression that they are there to impress me with their quality of customer care and not there to collect a check.

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Google May 27, 2020

Joe provided fast service and kept me informed all along during my vehicle repair!

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Advantage BMW of Clear Lake

400 Gulf Fwy S League City, TX

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Phone: 281-730-5329

400 Gulf Fwy S League City, TX


Phone: 281-557-7000

400 Gulf Fwy S League City, TX


Phone: 281-557-7099

400 Gulf Fwy S League City, TX
29.4992881 -95.1108011
Advantage BMW of Clear Lake 29.4992881, -95.1108011.