Road Trip Checklist For Your Car

road trip on ca highway

Is your car ready for a road trip? The holidays are approaching and plans to visit friends and family are being made. Your car isn’t the first thing you think of when preparing for a road trip, but shouldn’t it be? If your car has any issues while traveling, you’ll be stuck with costly repairs and less time to visit with friends and family. Prepare your car for a road trip by following the checklist below.

Maintenance and Repairs

__  A month before your trip, take your car in for any major repairs it may need, allowing time to address any other problems that may come up during repairs.
__  Have your mechanic check the six essential fluids in your car: engine oil, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, transmission, and windshield wiper fluid.
__  If your car needs an oil change, or will need one when on your trip, get it changed now.
__  Have the air filter changed if it needs to be, as a clogged air filter can result in fuel mileage reduction.
__  Check your tire pressure and tread. Refer to your owners manual for the tire pressure and use the penny test to check the tire tread.

Road Trip Essentials

__  Two to three weeks before you leave check that you have proper documentation in your car such as the owners manual, registration, proof of insurance, and license. Checking a few weeks out will allow you time to renew them if they’re expired.
__  Sign up for a roadside assistance service, so you can call for help if you break down on the side of the road. Check out this list of the top 10 roadside assistance services to help you determine which is best for you.
__  Pack an emergency kit in your car just in case you face car problems on the road. This could include jumper cables, motor oil, coolant, road flares, flashlight, and a basic tool kit. Tailor it to the weather you’ll be driving in, such as adding an ice scraper and sand for cold weather conditions.
__  Carry a map and make a copy of your travel route in case your phone dies or loses signal.

Road Trip Tips

__  Cleanout and empty your car before you leave, as more weight in it reduces fuel efficiency.
__  Fill up your gas tank to full before you leave town, since gas is usually more expensive on the road.
__  Load your belongings in your car efficiently as to not cover your view of the back window. It’s not safe to rely only on your rearview mirrors.

Preparation is key for avoiding car trouble on long road trips. Are there any other ways that you prepare your car for a road trip? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter with #RoadTripChecklist!

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