Vehicle Home Checklist and Maintenance Before a Road Trip

Engine Compartment  

Fluids: Engine oil, Automatic Transmission Fluid or Gear Oil for Manual Transmission, Radiator Coolant, Brake Fluid, Power Steering Fluid, Windshield Washer Fluid.

Belts: Timing Belt or Timing Chain, Drive Belts (Serpentine or Individual Belts)

Filters: Oil Filter, Auto Transmission Filter (some vehicles filter are inside), Air Filter, Cabin Filter, PCV Valve, Fuel Filter if necessary.

Battery: Since batteries have a short lifespan, it is very important to check and maintain it, Factors that affect the batteries are the heat of the environment and the engine, and also overcharging and undercharging causes by different accessories that utilize them. For Maintenance-Free batteries, clean and check Terminal Posts whenever the hood is opened. If the battery is NOT Maintenance-Free, check the level of electrolytes. If it needs water, tap it with DISTILLED water ONLY. Also test the condition of the electrolytes in each cell. A hydrometer will do the job of testing the electrolytes.

Spark Plugs / Coils: Remove and Check and Replace if necessary.

Vehicle Interior

Lights: Dashboard, Dome, Dore Lights

Locks: Automatic Door Locks

Hand Brake: Check Slightly Inclined or Slope Area. Put the vehicle on park if automatic and on 1st gear if manual. Pull the hand brake or depressed the foot brake. Release the brake pedal and check if the foot or hand brake will hold the vehicle in place. Adjust or Replace if necessary.

Vehicle Exterior

Lights: Head Lights, Signal Lights, Parking Lights, Tail Lights, Backing Lights, Brake Lights. Clean Assembly or Replace Dead Bulbs

Wipers: Check blades for cracks, breaks, frays, tears, cuts, and deformities. Replace if needed. If the wipers just have dirt, grime, and oil, just wash it with soap with warm water.

Tires/Wheels: Check the vehicle’s Alignment, Balance, Tread, Wearing, Cracking, or Signs of Bubbles or Deformities. Don’t for get to check the Air Pressure (check car manual for required PSI). Replace, Balance, or Align if needed.

Brakes: Brake Shoes and/or Brake Pads, Brake Rotors

Suspensions: Struts, Shock Absorbers, Springs or Coils


Sue Dfernz

Sue Dfernz

I'm a Christian. Wife. Practical Vegan. Outdoor & Travel Junkie. Co-Founder of Adventures Hub. I love creating inspirational visual arts thru words and phrases. Traveling and being outdoors inspire me a lot. I am currently on a quest to drive the 50 states camping, backpacking, and exploring national landmarks with my husband and our travel buddy Bucky.
Sue Dfernz
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