06 Jun Auto Checklist for a Safe Vacation Road Trip
in Auto Maintenance
If you are like most of the country, you want to get out of the house and go somewhere on vacation this summer. Unfortunately, the pandemic has caused limitations on certain kinds of travel. Road trips are the least restrictive, and offer a lot of solutions to get out of town. The options are abundant, especially when visiting outdoor locales. If you are planning to go camping, fishing, hiking, or visiting some remote town’s Giant Ball of Twine, then be wise and get prepared. To ensure a safe vacation road trip, make sure your vehicle is up-to-date on its auto maintenance, and follow these auto checklist & personal checklist suggestions.
Preparing Your Ride: Auto Checklist
Road trips can be fun and exciting. But they can also be hot, boring and expensive if your vehicle needs a major repair in the middle of nowhere. The best way to avoid unexpected repairs, is to make sure your vehicle is in top condition BEFORE you start off on your road trip. If you are handy under the hood, then you can go over the following checklist yourself. If you prefer to leave it to the professionals, then arrange for a service.
Auto Maintenance Service
Your owner’s manual has recommendations for how often to have your oil changed, air filters replaced and tires rotated. If you will hit any of those milestones during your road trip, you should have them serviced before you go. Your service technician may also suggest to service certain items sooner, based on visible wear. The following items should be inspected, repaired, or replaced as necessary, before your road trip:
- Oil and Filter Change
- Air Filter & Cabin Filter Inspection
- Windshield Wipers & Washer Fluid
- Coolant Inspection
- Brake, Transmission & Power Steering Fluids Inspection
- Battery Test
- Belts & Hoses Inspection
- Check Headlights, Brake Lights, Turn Signals
- Tire Inspection, Rotation & Alignment (if necessary)
- Inspect Spare Tire Kit
- Car Wash
After you know your vehicle is as safe and ready as possible, it is a good idea to tackle the inside of the car. After all, you plan on spending a lot of time in there during your road trip. Starting off with a clean and organized interior, makes finding things easier, and will keep you ready for anything. A few things to consider:
- Clean windows & mirrors
- Vacuum seats & floorboards
- Remove all trash & provide empty trash can or bag
- Make sure the vehicle’s owner’s manual is in the glove box
- Make sure your Insurance and Registration is up-to-date and in the vehicle
Preparing Yourself: Personal Checklist
Now that your vehicle is ready, take some time to get your personal needs covered. Obviously, you will be packing your personal items and having them in your suitcase, ready for you when you arrive at your destination. However, certain items may prove handy to have within arm’s reach.
When I am in the car for long periods of time, I don’t like pulling over constantly because I need something from my suitcase. Therefore, I have a bag of handy items next to me, so I’m always prepared. Here are some things I always find helpful:
- Sunglasses, Reading Glasses
- Lip Balm
- Drinking Water
- Lightweight Jacket or Windbreaker
- Phone Charger & Mount
- Paper Map or Printed Directions (I always seem to get lost when I have no cell service)
Safety First Checklist
Accidents can happen when you least expect them. Having a first aid kit and a basic emergency kit is never a bad idea. This is what I keep in mine:
- Basic First Aid Kit
- Duct Tape
- Jumper Cables
- Blanket and/or Large Towel
The situation with COVID-19 can change very quickly. Try to make yourself aware of the protocols in place at the locations you will be traveling through and to. Keep the following items available at all times while you travel:
- Face Mask
- Hand Sanitizer
- Alcohol Wipes
- Vaccination Record Card
Schedule A Road Trip Service
As you can see, having a vehicle that is ready to go on a safe vacation road trip is very important and should not be overlooked. Give yourself about 2-3 weeks before your trip to schedule your auto maintenance service appointment. This gives you time, in case parts need to be ordered, or more extensive work done.
Ron’s Garage for Your Auto Checklist
At Ron’s Garage, we offer professional automotive services at a fair price with an emphasis on customer satisfaction. We have been serving Ann Arbor and surrounding communities since 1982. Let our ASE certified technicians get your auto Road Trip Ready so you can have a worry-free and safe vacation.
We are here and ready to help. Call (734) 961-4701 to schedule your service or visit us online to make your appointment.