Get Your Car Road Trip Ready

Get Your Car Road Trip Ready

Planning a Long Drive? Use AAA’s Car-Care Checklist
Kip Doyle
road trip

Before you hit the road this summer, AAA reminds you to also make car maintenance part of your summer road trip preparation. Use this car care checklist to ensure that your vehicle is ready for summer travel.


Check tires and tire pressure

Inspect all four tires and, if you have one, the spare tire as well. Look for cuts, gouges, or sidewall bulges. Insert a quarter upside down into grooves to check the tire tread. If you see the top of George Washington’s head, it is time for new tires.

Check tire pressure when the car has been idle, and the tires are cool. Inflate as needed to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure.


Listen to and feel the brakes

If you hear a grinding sound or feel a vibration when applying the brakes, take your vehicle to an auto repair shop for a brake inspection. A service professional will check the brake system for fluid leaks, as well as the pads, rotors, shoes, and drums.


Secure and test the battery

Check the car battery to be sure cable connections are clean and tight and the hold-down hardware is secure. AAA Members may request a free battery check. Request AAA Battery Service now!


Top off engine oil and other fluids

Check that engine oil, coolant, and brake, transmission, and power steering fluids are at the correct levels for safe vehicle operation.


Replace wiper blades and refill windshield washer fluid

Rubber wiper blades naturally deteriorate over time. If wipers streak or fail to clear the windshield thoroughly, replace the blades. Fill the windshield washer reservoir with fluid formulated to remove insects and other debris. AAA Members get discounts on wiper blades, windshield washer fluid and much more at NAPA Auto Parts. Save now!


Check belts and hoses

Reinforced rubber drive belts power the engine water pump and accessories such as the alternator and air-conditioning compressor, so you should inspect and replace any that are cracked, glazed, or frayed. 


Keep the AC running cool

Take a test drive with the air conditioner running. If you notice a decrease in cooling capacity, take the car to an auto repair shop for diagnosis.


Replenish emergency kit supplies

AAA recommends keeping a well-stocked emergency kit in your vehicle. See a comprehensive list of car emergency kit items here.


In the event you need vehicle maintenance, know ahead of time where to find an auto repair shop and a technician you can trust. Use to access AAA’s network of nearly 7,000 Approved Auto Repair facilities.

Find a Mechanic