Road Trip Checklist

Inspect Your Truck or Car Before You Take a Road Trip

Road Trip Checklist

Are you getting ready to head out on a vacation or other road trip? Take a little time before you go to make sure your pickup truck is as ready to hit the road as you are.

Change the Oil and Filter

If the truck is within 500 miles or so of needing an oil change, and your trip will take you past that distance, change its oil and filter before you leave.

Check Fluid Levels

Check the truck’s fluid levels, like washer fluid, engine oil if you don’t change it, transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid and power steering fluid. If checks reveal low levels, have the truck serviced to make sure there’s not a problem.

Check Your Tires

Inspect your tires for wear. That job covers more than checking the tire pressure, but it won’t take you very long.

If you don’t already know how to change a flat tire, learn to do it before you leave. A short pre-trip exercise will help you figure out tire-changing problems before you’re stuck on the side of the road.

More Road Trip Checks

  • Install new wiper blades or blade inserts or take along a spare pair.
  • If it’s summer, check your auto’s air conditioning system.
  • If it’s winter, make sure the truck’s heater is functioning correctly. Throw in a small shovel if you’ll travel where snow is a possibility — just in case.
  • In winter, take along a few blankets in case you get caught in snow and are forced to sit in the truck for awhile.
  • Inspect belts and hoses to make sure they aren’t cracked or worn. If you aren’t comfortable doing that, take the truck to a technician.
  • Check all lights to make sure they work.
  • Slip in a jug of water in case you need it for the radiator (or for a drink).

Be sure to follow specific suggestions for safe travel to your destination. Have a good trip!