The Ultimate Car Maintenance Checklist for Road Trips

road trip automotive maintenance checklist

Everyone loves a great road trip, but if you fall short in preparing your automobile for a road trip it can spell disaster. Don’t be mislead into assuming that your brand-new vehicle doesn’t need to be inspected, a fast mechanical check can mean the difference in a carefree drive or a roadside malfunction. We’ve created a quick vehicle maintenance checklist of the top points you ought to examine before your next road trip.

Is My Car Ready For A Trip?

Just because your vehicle is brand-new that does not indicate it’s ready for a lengthy journey. If your automobile is past due for an oil change, has a tire with an air leak, or has a burnt taillight then you certainly should get those things fixed before dreaming of the open road. Furthermore, if you don’t currently have an emergency kit in your vehicle, you need to get one before your next road trip. Even with all the trip planning in the world, things can break. A bit of prevention can help tremendously when presented with unpredicted car troubles.

Road Trip Safety Checklist

Ok, you’re ready to give your automobile a once-over with a fine-tooth comb, but where do you begin? Your road trip checklist should focus on 3 primary areas: Fluids, Wheels and Tires, and Maintenance. While not an extensive listing, if you completely examine these locations your possibility of an undisturbed road trip rises.


  • Motor Oil – As we stated above, you’ll want to make certain that the engine oil has been recently changed.
  • Transmission Fluid – Be sure to consult your owner’s manual to see how often it should be replaced. If it’s past due, you’ll want to change it.
  • Radiator fluid – Ensure that your antifreeze is completely full for optimal performance and inspect your owner’s manual to see if it needs to be changed.
  • Brake Fluid – Being able to stop properly can mean the difference between an accident or avoiding one. If you are unclear, get it checked
  • Wiper Fluid – If you’re likely to be driving a long distance you’re most likely to hit some insects or other road debris. Ensure your wiper fluid container is full to get the gunk off. Wiper fluid is pointless without good wipers, so change your wipers while you’re at it.


  • Tread – See to it there are no bald spots and that you have plenty of tire tread left. Double-check for any punctures that require attention. If they can not be repaired, 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 – Ensure that your tires don’t need to be rotated. Tires that aren’t balanced/rotated appropriately can wear unevenly and have an irritating vibration.
  • Spare Tire – Whatever you check on your primary tires, do it for your spare also.

Regular Maintenance Issues

  • Light Bulbs – Burned out headlights and taillights can be a safety hazard, so see to it they work correctly. While you are at it, examine your turn signal lights and parking lights. You could also update to LED bulbs for brighter light and reduced power usage
  • Air Filter – If you’re like the majority of us, your air filter should’ve changed years ago. It’s easy to do, isn’t very costly, and can assist with better gas mileage.
  • Belts and Hoses – If you aren’t a mechanic, this could be a little daunting however it can, in fact, be quite basic. First thing is to try to find cracks in the hoses, after that press the tubes to see if they feel weak. Hoses should feel rubbery, if they feel really breakable or have splits you must change them. Try to find leaks on your hoses, particularly where they link to other components. Finally, checks the belts to make certain they aren’t loosely connected or have missing notches. A broken belt and/or hose can swiftly spoil your road trip and your engine.
  • Battery – See to it that the battery terminals are not corroded and that the +/- terminals are tightened. If your vehicle starts slowly you might require a new battery.
  • Brakes – Having the ability to brake your vehicle effectively is key in staying clear of accidents. Changing your brake fluid, replacing the brake pads, and getting brand-new brake rotors might be essential to have a risk-free vehicle for your road trip.

Test Drive Your Car Before the Road Trip

You know your automobile better than any person. Take it out for a fast spin to see if something feels off. This isn’t a pleasure cruise so shut off the radio and concentrate. Does your vehicle draw to one side when braking heavily? Does your A/C blow cold? If something feels a little off, you should absolutely have an expert take a look at it.

Schedule Road Trip Maintenance Today

Schedule your car road trip maintenance service at Gene Messer Kia. We are your trusted source for all service needs in the Lubbock, Texas area. Book an appointment by phone, online, or in-person today. Our factory-trained technicians are ready to serve you and your car!

Road Trip Automotive Maintenance in the Lubbock, Texas area | Gene Messer Kia

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Cars Oct 16, 2019

My car broke down on my way to lubbock, they had made it a point to get my vehicle in that same day and was informed that it was the engine needing to be replaced. They worked with the extended warranty getting me a new engine and rental car while I waited. They were kind and understanding through the whole process. They worked diligently. They have been a big help. Everyone I came in contact with was kind and reassuring and very helpful.

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Cars Oct 15, 2019

The place was great the person that helped me was RC Cortez and you’re in great hands if he helps you or anybody from there.

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Cars Oct 14, 2019

I had a pretty good leak, called to see if I could come in. They put me in the system and met me right away. I have had nothing but positive experiences here.

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Cars Oct 12, 2019

Easy to schedule maintenance with friendly reminders very cost effective good customer service and good quality work. I will be returning for car maintenance again

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Cars Oct 8, 2019

We just bought our Sorento in Feb. In June, the motor locked up. They replaced the motor and rented a car for us while they was replacing the motor. I won't go anywhere else to buy a car. They worked with us and got our car going again.

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Gene Messer Kia

6006 West 19th Lubbock, TX

Phone: (806) 776-5600


Phone: (806) 417-0279

6006 West 19th Lubbock, TX


Phone: (844) 402-3025

6006 West 19th Lubbock, TX


Phone: (806) 776-5666

6006 West 19th Lubbock, TX
33.5790487 -101.9462486
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Gene Messer Kia
Gene Messer Kia
6006 West 19th
Lubbock, TX, 79407 United States
(806) 776-5600
Gene Messer Kia 33.5790487, -101.9462486.