Vehicle Maintenance Before a Road Trip

The season for vehicle maintenance before a road trip is upon us. And given post-pandemic behaviors, it could be here to stay for a very long time. Road trips offer more control over how you travel and the safety standards you employ.

This article gives you the ultimate checklist for ensuring that you arrive at your destination and all points in between, safe and sound. Let’s begin!

Oil and Fluids

The first thing on your car checklist before a road trip should be your fluid levels. This includes coolant, washer fluid, and, of course, engine oil.

Coolant ensures your engine won’t freeze up. This is of particular concern during colder weather. (Think traveling for the holidays.)

Washer fluid will maintain visibility in the likely event you get caught in inclement weather between home and your destination. Engine oil keeps your engine running smoothly and helps with gas mileage to control costs.

Tires and Alignment

Another essential item on a road trip checklist is to make sure your four tires (two, if riding by motorcycle) will give you enough coverage for the entirety of the trip. Tires should be rotated regularly during their useful life.

If your tires are at 2/32 tread (you can test it with a coin), then you’ll want to replace them before the trip begins. Likewise, ensure straight alignment. This is not only a safe way to travel, but also it slows down wear and extends the life of your tires.

Suspension System

Another part of preparing cars for the road is to ensure the suspension system is optimal. Shocks, struts, mounts, and bushings should be checked and replaced as needed.

You’ll be hitting a lot of bumps in the road if you’re going on a long road trip. Ensuring the health of your suspension system will ensure that you don’t feel each one.


The brakes are probably the most important thing you’ll need to check, maintain, or replace before road trips. Brakes ensure a smooth, safe stop. They also help you adjust speeds, sometimes quite abruptly.

The road is full of dangers and unexpected occurrences. Having brakes that help you stop on a dime can keep you out of trouble.


Long road trips on a lousy exhaust system are a recipe for disaster. At best, a faulty exhaust system could mean poor air, weak performance, and inefficient gas mileage. At worst, it could pipe poisonous gases into your cab.

Experienced auto mechanics recommend a check of the exhaust system every couple of years. If you can’t remember the last time you had it done, or you’ve recently bought a new car, do yourself a favor. Have a shop give your exhaust system a look.

Battery and Filters

Air filters, cabin filters, oil filters, fuel filters; your vehicle has various filters that ensure smooth performance, clean air, and efficient output.

Your filters keep things running as they should, but nothing will work with a burned-out battery. Take your automobile to an auto parts store or a mechanic before the trip to have your battery tested. This is especially important if you haven’t replaced your battery in a while (or ever).

Essential Vehicle Maintenance Before a Road Trip

We hope this look at vehicle maintenance before a road trip will have you thinking more about how well you care for your ride. Moreover, you’ll want to make sure you’re financially protected.


Guided Solutions can help you find the best insurance for your needs and budget. Contact us today to learn more or get a complimentary quote.

Guided Insurance Solutions, LLC, and its affiliates, do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice.  This material has been prepared for informational purposes only.  Please consult with your own tax, legal or accounting professionals before engaging in any transaction.


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