The Ultimate Car Maintenance Checklist for Road Trips

car road trip maintenance checklist

Everyone enjoys a good road trip, however, if you fail in preparing your vehicle for a road trip it could mean disaster. Do not be deceived into believing that your brand-new automobile does not need to be evaluated, a fast mechanical check can mean the difference in a carefree drive or a roadside malfunction. We’ve assembled a short list of important car maintenance checks you ought to do before your next trip.

Is My Automobile All Set For A Road Trip?

Even if your automobile is brand-new that doesn’t automatically mean it’s ready for a lengthy journey. If your automobile is overdue for an oil change, has a tire with an air leak, or has a burnt taillight then you absolutely need to get those things fixed before imagining the open road. Additionally, if you do not currently have an emergency kit in your car, you ought to create one prior to your next journey. Despite having all the trip planning on the planet, stuff can go wrong. A little bit of prevention can help exceptionally when presented with unforeseen automobile troubles.

Road Trip Safety Checklist

Ok, you’re prepared to check your automobile with a fine-tooth comb, but where do you begin? Your road trip checklist should focus on 3 main sections: Fluids, Wheels and Tires, and Maintenance. While not an exhaustive listing, if you thoroughly examine these locations your chances of a continuous trip increases.


  • Motor Oil – As we pointed out above, you’ll need to see to it that the oil has been recently changed.
  • Transmission Fluid – Make sure to consult your owner’s manual to see how often it should be changed. If it’s overdue, you’ll need to change it out.
  • Radiator fluid – See to it that your antifreeze is full for optimum efficiency and inspect your owner’s manual to see if it ought to be changed.
  • Brake Fluid – Being able to brake effectively can mean the difference between an accident or avoiding one. If you are unclear, have it checked
  • Windshield Wiper Fluid – If you’re likely to be putting in some seat time you’re going to hit some bugs or various other road debris. Make certain your wiper fluid container is full to get the crud off. Wiper fluid is ineffective without excellent wipers, so change your wipers while you’re at it.

Tires & Treads

  • Tire Tread – Make sure there are no bald spots and that you have plenty of tread left. Double-check for any type of cuts that need to be fixed. If they can not be fixed, replace them.
  • Air Pressure – Make sure that your tires are inflated to the proper pressure and that they all have the same pressure 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 a bothersome vibration.
  • Spare Tire – Whatever you check on your main tires, do it for your spare tire also.

General Maintenance Items

  • Light Bulbs – Burned out headlights and taillights can be a safety danger, so see to it they work normally. While you are at it, inspect your turn indicator lights and parking lights. You can also upgrade to LED bulbs for brighter light and lower power usage
  • Air Filter – If you’re like a lot of us, your air filter needed to be changed years ago. It’s easy to do, isn’t very pricey, and can assist with better gas mileage.
  • Belts and Hoses – If you aren’t an auto tech, this could be a little challenging but it can, in fact, be rather easy. First thing is to search for splits in the hoses, after that squeeze the hoses to see if they feel breakable. Hoses must feel rubbery, if they feel really breakable or have cracks you need to replace them. Look for leaks on your hoses, specifically where they link to various other components. Lastly, check the belts to ensure they aren’t loosely connected or have missing notches. A broken belt and/or hose can swiftly ruin your journey and your engine.
  • Battery – See to it that the battery terminals are not rusted and that the +/- terminals are tightened. If your vehicle starts slowly you may require a new battery.
  • Brakes – Being able to stop your car capably is key in staying clear of accidents. Changing your brake fluid, replacing the brake pads, and even getting new brake rotors could be needed to have a risk-free vehicle for your trip.

Before the Road Trip, Test Drive Your Car

You understand your car far better than any person. Take it out for a quick drive to see if something feels off. This isn’t a pleasure cruise so turn off the radio and concentrate. Does your car draw to one side when braking heavily? Does your Air Conditioner blow cold? 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’s road trip maintenance service at Team Gillman Mazda. We are your trusted source for all your vehicle service needs in the Houston, TX area. Book an appointment in-person, by phone, or online today. Our factory-trained technicians are ready to serve you!

Road Trip Car Maintenance in the Houston, TX area | Team Gillman Mazda

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Google Jan 16, 2021

I've been to several Mazda service centers in different states, and this is by far the best service center. They made communication easy via text or phone call, provided me a video (YouTube link via text) of the maintenance being done to my vehicle and their recommendations + the costs. Matt the representative at the front desk was great, he really took care of my vehicle and kept me informed of what was going on at all times!! Highly recommended this service center.

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Google Jan 12, 2021

After trying 6 dealers to find a car for my girlfriend with hopeless. Finally we can get her first car today with Macos’s help. He lighted up our hope again, he’s kindness person ever and willing to help us out to get a great deal with reasonable price. He showed us all functions of the car and take care it for the lifetime. Will recommend our family and friends to come here and get theirs future car.!!! Once again THANK YOU MACOS AND TEAM GILLMAN!

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Google Jan 11, 2021

If you aren’t buying your vehicle here, you are missing out. More importantly, if you are not having your Mazda serviced here, you are making a big mistake. Using the app to make your appointment is simple. The way you are greeted is outstanding (my other vehicle is a Mercedes and the way I am treated here is equal to that). I was AMAZED by the video they sent - my mechanic did a walk thru of what was done and a general overview of how my car is doing.Keep up the great work Team Gillman Mazda!! I ...

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Google Jan 11, 2021

Exemplary service and care, made everything super easy and worked with all our request

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Google Jan 4, 2021

Jimmy and the Mazda service team was excellent. They were honest, compassionate and eager to help our organization bless a family of 5 in need. We will definitely come back.

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