Preparing your Car for your Road Trip

Preparing for a road trip means not only making sure you have enough snacks but also that your car is ready to be driven.

Preparing your Car for your Road Trip

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Picture this: Top down driving on the road, wind blowing through your hair, radio blasting, sun shining, everyone is laughing and singing, you’re about four hours into your eleven hour road trip down to North Carolina and your car starts smoking. Panic takes over, the closest AAA truck is two hours out, you have nothing in your car to attempt to fix the problem, no one pulls over to help you, nothing is close enough to walk to and wait, you’re stuck. You wonder, “What could we have done to avoid this?”

That’s where we step in.

The arrival of spring always stirs up a longing for adventure. Going on a road trip can be a fun and exciting idea, however it's important to make sure your car is in good condition for that type of drive.

We found some tips we want to share with you that should help you better prepare your car for the long drive ahead to make sure there are no unexpected car troubles.

  • Change oil and filter

  • Begin your trip with a clean car, both inside and out. It will help you find your map when you need it, etc.

  • Try not to put luggage over the car. It creates air friction and slows you down – bringing more gas. If it is unavoidable, cover with strong sheet and tie them very well.

  • Change air filter.

  • Cover headlights and front of the car with a protective sheet to prevent bug clogs or other damage.

  • Get an extra set of car belts.

  • Change spark plugs.

  • Make certain your tire iron and jack are in the car.

  • Check your spare tire.

  • Bring towels for cleaning dirty windshields, spills, etc.

  • Fix sun protectors for side windows and front windshield.

  • Bring a plastic funnel to add water or other fluids. Bring a water bucket in case you need to use a river or lake for emergency coolant.

  • Always fill your gas tank when it is half full. Don’t wait too long.

  • Make sure your owner’s manual is handy.

In addition, you should make a checklist of items to pack in a car survival kit. These can include:

  • A chain or thick towing rope

  • Electric charger wire

  • Flashlight

  • Screwdrivers and wrenches of different sizes

  • Bungee cords

  • Pliers

  • Hammer

  • And anything else you may feel is necessary for survival if a car were to break down in the middle of nowhere and you had to stay inside of your vehicle for an extended amount of time.

Now once you’ve checked all of that weeks or days before your planned road trip, it’s always best to do one final check right before leaving. Check the following:

  • Tires condition.

  • Check tires tread and look for signs of strain, bulges or other damage.

  • Tire pressure. Don’t over inflate

  • Wipers and wiper fluid. When the rain falls, you don’t want to discover your wipers are useless. In addition, bug hits can really mess a windshield, so you’ll need a full fluid reservoir.

  • Coolant.

  • Flush radiator, if you haven’t done so in a while.

  • Fuses and Horn.

  • High and low beam headlights.

  • Oil, power steering and brake fluid.

  • Loose cables Heater and air conditioner, if making a seasonal trip.


We hope that this will help you with your adventure endeavors and will assist in ensuring nothing goes wrong. Have fun, drive safe, and don’t forget if something goes wrong where you need insurance help, please call us at 203-237-7900 and we will gladly give you the assistance you need or answer any of your questions!