How to Prepare for a Road Trip (Ultimate Car Checklist)

Road trips are usually fun filled adventures that can really make our life more interesting. However if you set on an adventure unprepared that could end up being a complete disaster instead of a fantastic memory. This is where careful preparation comes into play, and if you want a memorable road trip without any major ‘I can’t believe I forgot that’ moments consider going through our road trip car checklist prior to your departure.

Give your car a onceover

When it comes to safety and comfort on your road trip it is all about your car’s readiness. So don’t take it lightly. You need to give your car a detailed checkup so that you can rule out any irregularities and possible issues that might occur on the road. And if you are not up for it have your trusted mechanic have a go at it.

Start with the fluids

Make sure that all the fluids are checked and topped off, from engine oil to coolant and transmission fluid, and don’t forget the window washer fluid especially if you consider going off-road. Of course you shouldn’t overlook the brake fluids, make sure that when you are topping them off you check the side for a guideline of where to fill. Finally, all that is left is the power steering fluid. Now if all the fluids are checked and topped off we can move on.

On to the tyres

Next come the tyres, they need to be in top shape and have the right pressure. So check the thread depth and if they seem too shallow it is definitely time for a change. And in case you are thinking of replacing one or more tyres on your car, take a page from most Australians’ book and get your quality cheap tyres in Blacktown, that way you can be sure you have the durability you require. Finally, give them good clean and check for any damages. It would be quite a drag if you had to change your tyre in the middle of your road trip with the next gas station being miles away.

Don’t forget about the belts and hoses

Remember this trip is going to take quite a toll in your car so anything that is only slightly damaged might end up failing you at the most inconvenient moment. Go over all the belts and hoses under the hood checking to see any wear and tear patterns and possible leakages. Finally, make sure you replace your wipers as well if they seem worn out.

Finally check your electrics

Start off with day time/bright lights, see if any sparks need replacing. Next it’s on to the horn, driving on open road, you’ll need your horn functioning and road ready. The same goes for your reverse signals and brake lights, you need to be sure that the drivers in the front of your car and behind you are aware of what your next move is. Give you dash light and internal light a once over so as to make sure everything is function properly. Finally check your car battery, if it is a few years old you’ll need to make sure that the terminals are corrosion-free and the positive and negative leads are tight.

Go for a test ride

But first, give your car a detailed wash, both inside and outside. You will be spending a lot of hours in there and it is always better off to start out with that clean car smell. Pack everything up as you have planned and spend a few hours driving around just to see how your car behaves when fully loaded. This test drive is essential for your piece of mind. If everything goes and sounds as it should you will feel more relaxed when commencing your actual road trip.


Just in case, have a road trip plan at hand with all the nearest gas stations and mechanics included on the map. It is always better to be safe than sorry. And don’t forget a cool road trip playlist, after all it should be all about fun and relaxation now that you have made sure your car is in optimal shape.

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