The Ultimate Car Maintenance Checklist for Road Trips

road trip auto maintenance checklist

Everyone likes a good road trip, yet if you fail in preparing your car for a road trip it could spell disaster. Do not be misled into assuming that your brand-new car does not need to be examined, a quick mechanical check can mean the difference in a carefree drive or a roadside failure. We’ve assembled a quick vehicle maintenance checklist of the top things you should examine prior to your next road trip.

Is My Automobile Ready For A Trip?

Even if your vehicle is brand-new that doesn’t suggest it’s ready for a long trip. If your car is overdue for an oil change, has a tire with an air leak, or has a burned-out taillight then you definitely need to get those items repaired before imagining the open road. In addition, if you don’t already have an emergency kit in your car, you must create one before your next trip. Despite having all the journey preparation on the planet, stuff can go wrong. A bit of prevention can help immensely when presented with unanticipated car troubles.

Road Trip Safety Checklist

Okay, you’re ready to look over your vehicle 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 checklist, if you extensively examine these areas your possibility of a nonstop trip get better.

Check Your Fluids

  • Oil – As we pointed out above, you’ll want to make sure that the oil has been changed recently.
  • Transmission Fluid – Be sure to consult your owner’s manual to see the intervals at which to have it replaced. If it’s past due, you’ll want to change it.
  • Radiator fluid – See to it that your antifreeze is full for maximum performance and inspect your owner’s manual to see if it needs to be changed.
  • Brake Fluid – Being able to brake efficiently can be the difference between a collision or not. If you are not sure, get it inspected
  • Wiper Fluid – If you’re likely to be driving a long distance you’re most likely to hit some bugs or various other road debris. Make sure your wiper fluid container is full to get the gunk off. Wiper fluid is worthless without excellent wipers, so replace your wipers while you’re at it.


  • Tire Tread – Make certain there are no bald spots and that you have a lot of tread left. Double-check for any type of leaks that require attention. If they can not be fixed, replace them.
  • Air Pressure – Make certain that your tires are pumped up to the proper pressure and that they all have equal pressure in each tire.
  • Rotation – Make certain that your tires don’t need to be rotated. Tires that aren’t balanced/rotated correctly can wear unevenly and have an annoying vibration.
  • Spare Tire – Whatever you look at on your primary tires, do it for your spare too.

General Service Items

  • Light Bulbs – Burned out headlamps and taillamps can be a safety danger, so make sure they function correctly. While you are at it, inspect your turn signal lights and parking lights. You can even upgrade to LED light bulbs for brighter light and lower power consumption
  • Air Filter – If you’re like a lot of us, your air filter needed replacing years ago. It’s simple to do, isn’t very pricey, and can assist with better gas mileage.
  • Belts and Hoses – If you aren’t an auto mechanic, this could be a little daunting however it can, in fact, be quite easy. First thing is to look for splits in the hoses, then press the hoses to see if they seem fragile. Hoses must feel really rubbery, if they feel really fragile or have cracks you need to change them. Try to find leaks on your hoses, particularly where they connect to other components. Lastly, check the belts to ensure they aren’t loosely connected or have missing notches. A damaged belt and/or hose can quickly ruin your journey and your engine.
  • Battery – See to it that the battery terminals are not rusted and that the positive and negative terminals are tight. If your car starts slowly you might need to replace your battery.
  • Brakes – Having the ability to brake your automobile competently is key in preventing accidents. Flushing your brake fluid, changing the brake pads, and getting brand-new brake rotors might be required to have a risk-free automobile for your trip.

Test Drive Your Car Before the Road Trip

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

Schedule Your Auto Road Trip Maintenance Today

Schedule your car’s road trip maintenance service checklist at BMW El Paso. We are your source for all maintenance needs in the El Paso, TX area. Book an appointment in-person, by phone, or online today. Our factory-trained mechanics are ready to serve you!

Car Road Trip Maintenance in the El Paso, TX area | BMW El Paso

Google logo
Google Aug 13, 2020

Excellent service , thank you Karina

Read at Google

Google logo
Google Aug 13, 2020
Google logo
Google Aug 12, 2020

Quick service with updates. Karina was great to work with.

Read at Google

Google logo
Google Aug 12, 2020
Google logo
Google Aug 11, 2020
Main: 915-778-9381
Saved Vehicles ×


You don't have any saved vehicles!

Look for this link on your favorites:


Once you've saved some vehicles, you can view them here at any time.

Contact Us ×


Call Now

6318 Montana Ave. • El Paso, TX 79925

Get Directions

Today's Hours:

Open Today! Sales: 8:30am-6pm

Open Today! Service: 7am-6pm

Open Today! Parts: 7am-6pm

BMW of El Paso 31.7881173, -106.407489.