Automotive Maintenance Checklist for Road Trips

automotive road trip maintenance checklist

Everyone enjoys a good road trip, but if you fall short in preparing your vehicle for a road trip it could spell catastrophe. Don’t be tricked into believing that your new automobile doesn’t need to be checked, a fast check can mean the difference in a carefree drive or a roadside malfunction. We’ve assembled a quick list of important car maintenance examinations you should do before your next road trip.


Is My Automobile Ready For A Trip?

Even if your automobile is brand-new that doesn’t automatically mean it’s ready for a lengthy trip. If your automobile is past due for an oil change, has a tire with an air leak, or has a burned-out taillight then you definitely must get those items dealt with prior to dreaming of the open road. In addition, if you do not currently have an emergency kit in your vehicle, you must get one before your next trip. Despite all the trip preparation in the world, stuff can break. A bit of prevention can help profoundly when presented with unforeseen automobile problems.


Safety Checklist for Road Trips

Okay, you are prepared to give your vehicle with a fine-tooth comb, but where do you start? Your road trip checklist should focus on 3 main sections: Fluids, Wheels and Tires, and Maintenance. While not an exhaustive list, if you completely inspect these locations your chances of an uninterrupted road trip get better.

Check Your Fluids

  • Oil – As we pointed out above, you’ll want to make certain that the engine oil has been recently changed.
  • Transmission Fluid – Make certain to consult your owner’s manual to see the intervals at which to have it replaced. If it’s overdue, you’ll need to change it out.
  • Radiator fluid – Make certain that your antifreeze is completely full for optimal efficiency and inspect your owner’s manual to see if it ought to be changed.
  • Brake Fluid – Having the ability to brake properly can be the difference between a crash or avoiding one. If you are unsure, have it checked
  • Wiper Fluid – If you’re likely to be putting in some seat time you’re most likely to hit some insects or various other roadway debris. Make sure your wiper fluid container is completely full to get the gunk off. Wiper fluid is worthless without excellent wipers, so change your wipers while you’re at it.

Check Your Tires

  • Tread – Ensure there are no bald spots and that you have plenty of tread left. Double-check for any kind of punctures that need to be taken care of. If they can not be fixed, replace them.
  • Air Pressure – Ensure that your tires are pumped up to the appropriate pressure and that they all have equal pressure 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 annoying vibration.
  • Spare Tire – Whatever you check on your main tires, do it for your spare tire as well.

Routine Maintenance Items

  • Light Bulbs – Burned out headlights and taillights can be a safety danger, so make sure they work normally. While you are at it, inspect your directional signal lights and parking lights. You can even upgrade to LED light bulbs for brighter light and reduced power consumption
  • Air Filter – If you’re like a lot of us, your air filter needed changing years ago. It’s simple to do, isn’t very expensive, and can assist with better gas mileage.
  • Belts and Hoses – If you aren’t an auto tech, this might be a little daunting but it can actually be fairly easy. First thing is to look for splits in the hoses, after that squeeze the hoses to see if they feel fragile. Hoses need to feel rubbery, if they feel really breakable or have splits you ought to replace them. Try to find leaks on your hoses, especially where they attach to various other components. Ultimately, checks the belts to ensure they aren’t loosely affixed or have missing notches. A busted belt and/or hose can swiftly spoil your journey and your engine.
  • Battery – See to it that the battery terminals are not rusted and that the +/- connections are tightened. If your automobile starts slowly you might need to replace your battery.
  • Brakes – Being able to stop your automobile properly is key in preventing accidents. Flushing your brake fluid, changing the brake pads, and even obtaining new rotors may be required to have a risk-free automobile for your road trip.

Before the Road Trip, Test Drive Your Car

You understand your car much better than anyone. Take it out for a quick spin to see if something really feels off. This isn’t a pleasure cruise so shut off the radio and concentrate. Does your vehicle draw to one side under heavy braking? Does your Air Conditioner blow cold air? If something feels off, you should absolutely have an expert take a look at it.


Schedule Your Road Trip Maintenance Today

Schedule your car road trip maintenance service at Volkswagen of Kearny Mesa. We are your trusted source for all maintenance needs in the San Diego, CA area. Book an appointment online, by phone, or in-person today. Our certified specialists are standing by to serve you and your car!


Auto Road Trip Maintenance in the San Diego, CA area | Volkswagen of Kearny Mesa


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Asa was so sweet!! Actually everyone was just wonderful!!

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Very efficient and speedy service. I enjoyed how thorough the recap of the service was as well.

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Went in on a Friday morning so had to wait a while for the service since it was Busy, but that was the only downfall. Michelle and the technicians here made sure everything was taken care of properly and updated me along the way with anything that popped up or they recommended. Excellent customer service and will be back for future services!

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Volkswagen of Kearny Mesa
Volkswagen of Kearny Mesa
8040 Balboa Avenue
San Diego, CA, 92111 US
(858) 300-8160
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Volkswagen of Kearny Mesa 32.8228011, -117.1495453.