Auto Care: What to Check Before a Road Trip

By Bimmy Payne | Posted in Car Information on Friday, June 2nd, 2017 at 6:35 pm
defensive driving

Auto Care for your Summer Road Trip

Aside from scorching temperatures, the summer season is sure to bring one thing: roadtrips! Whether you’re hitting the open road solo, with a group of friends or with your family in tow, a summer road trip is the ideal way to have a blast while saving money on travel. Before the good times, though, you’ll need to make sure your car can withstand the drive. Check these 7 features before takeoff to ensure your road trip goes as smoothly as planned.


Check your vehicle’s oil, brake fluid, coolant, windscreen wash and power steering fluid (if applicable) before embarking on your road trip to help avoid a breakdown.

Air Pressure

Make sure your tires have not exceeded their max pressure, which is marked on the side of your tire. Be sure not to neglect your spare tire, as well!


Checking your oil before a long road trip is essential. And don’t think you can get away with adding more oil in yourself, either! Adding more oil won’t rid your oil filter of the sludge that’s already built up. When you change your car’s oil, you’ll need to replace the filter as well.

Tire Wear

Your tires may take a beating after long hours on the road. Before takeoff, use a penny or thread to ensure each tire has at least 1/16th” or 1.6mm tread left. If the tire’s tread is less than 1/12″ or 2.5mm, consider replacing it to avoid a blow-out or flat down the road – literally.

Air Filter

Clean air is guaranteed to help your vehicle run more smoothly. Aside from your car’s air filter, you should also check its cabin filter, which can negatively impact the quality of air in your vehicle if not properly maintained.

Lights and Signals

Be sure your headlights, taillights, and dashboard signals are all in working order before you hit the road. You can also enlist the help of a friend or family member as you test turning signals and lights.

Emergency Equipment

Do a quick scan before your trip to make sure you’ve got all the necessities in case of an emergency. A map, cell phone and charger, flashlight, and medical kit are just some of things you may need over your long drive.

Now that you know what to look out for, your summer road trip fun can begin. For more help with inspecting your vehicle, auto care, or if you’d like some assistance with selecting a new one, visit your local Payne Auto dealership.

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