Road Trip Car Checklist: 9 Things to Check Before Your Journey

Are you about to take a long road trip across the country? Here is a complete road trip car checklist of things to look at before you go.

Did you know that the longest road in the world is the Pan-American Highway, which stretches over 19,000 miles?

Whether you want to take a big or small road trip, you can’t enjoy your adventure without a reliable car. Nothing spoils fun faster than a busted engine or a flat tire.

Do you want to learn how to prepare your car for a road trip? Keep reading for the ultimate road trip car checklist.

1. Fluids Should Be at the Top of Your Road Trip Car Checklist

One of the most important maintenance tasks you need to do is replace your engine oil. As a general rule of thumb, you should replace the engine oil every 5,000 miles. Other things you should check on include the coolant, transmission, differential, windshield, and brake fluids.

2. Make Sure Your Tire Pressure Is Optimal

If you’re not sure what the correct tire pressure is for your car, you can find out in the manual. Most cars fare well with 32-35 psi. When your tires don’t have adequate pressure, they wear down unevenly and they’re more susceptible to flats.

3. Don’t Forget About Tire Tread

Having good tire tread will help prevent accidents when you drive through inclement weather or rugged terrain. If your tire tread is less than 1/16″, then you need to install a replacement.

4. Inspect Your Brake Pads

Although each model is different, most cars need to have their brake pads changed every 50,000 miles. For a more accurate number, it’s wise to consult your manual. If you can’t remember the last time you changed the brake pads, you can check to make sure they’re more than 1/4″ thick.

5. What to Check Before a Road Trip: Test Your Signals and Headlights

Turn signals and headlights are every driver’s biggest defense against car accidents. Before you leave, recruit someone to help you while you test their functions. If something isn’t working, repairing it should be your top priority.

6. Take a Peek at Your Battery

Once your battery is two years old, you should check it regularly to ensure it’s still in good shape. If you notice any corrosion or that your engine is sluggish when it turns on, it’s time to replace the battery.

7. Check Your Belts for Wear and Tear

While you’re looking under the hood, don’t forget to inspect your belts. To do this, turn the belt to the side and look for any signs of damage. If a belt looks torn or worn down, be sure to replace it.

8. Make Sure Your Spare Tire and Other Gear Are in Good Condition

If you don’t have a spare tire, it’s time to get one in case of an emergency. You can’t change a tire without tools, so you’ll need to check that you have a toolbox in your trunk. It’s also a good idea to keep a survival kit in your car that includes extra water, food, blankets, and other necessities.

9. Test Your Windshield Wipers

Every driver hopes for beautiful weather throughout the entire road trip, but conditions can be unpredictable. In order to stay safe on the roads at all times, it’s important to have effective windshield wipers. Before you depart, turn your windshield wipers on to make sure they’re working properly.

Do You Want More Travel Advice?

With this road trip car checklist, you can make sure all of your adventures are safe.

If you love to travel, then David’s Been Here is your ultimate resource. Check out our blog for more helpful travel tips.


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