Road Trip Preparation

Road Trip Preparation

| By: Chip Fenner, Christian Brothers Automotive Grant Road

If you are heading out on a highway adventure, it is important to fully prepare your car for what lies ahead.In our blog, our expert auto technicians provide tips to help you get your car road-trip ready, including:

  • Topping off your fluids
  • Changing your oil
  • Checking your tires
  • Understanding your vehicle's towing capacity

Top off Your Fluids

A variety of fluids help your vehicle run effectively. Prior to heading out on your journey, make sure to top off any fluids that are running low. Make sure you get the manufactures required fluid type. With modern cars, there are a number different fluids that could be used. Using the wrong fluid could damage your vehicle and be costly to repair. Some of the fluids you should check include:

  • Radiator fluid
  • Transmission fluid
  • Brake fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Windshield fluid

Gasoline is also a fluid, so make sure to fuel up before you head out. To maximize your miles per gallon, keep your gas tank at least halfway filled throughout the trip.

Change Your Oil

Oil lubricates your engine and removes particles and dirt, which means the oil becomes contaminated over time. With this in mind, it is a good idea to start your journey with clean oil to ensure a smooth trip.

Check Your Tires

Traveling thousands of miles on a road trip can wear on your tires – make sure they can handle it. Check the tread on your tires and see if they can make the journey. You can use the coin test for this, or check the tires’ wear bars.

The Coin Test

  • Take a penny, and stick it in the groove of one of your tires with Lincoln’s head straight down.
  • If the tread touches or goes beyond the top of Lincoln’s head, your tires have at least 2/32 inches of tread remaining and are safe for your road trip
  • The top of Lincoln’s head is the minimum tread depth. If you are at or below this level you should replace your tires before going on a trip.

Additionally, you should ask a mechanic about rotating your tires prior to the trip. This can extend the life of your tires, and make the drive smoother.


Your car has a very specific towing capacity, and overloading your vehicle causes your engine and transmission to work harder. This diminishes your fuel efficiency and can lead to transmission problems. If you plan on towing something, check your vehicle’s towing capacity to ensure a safe and problem free trip.

Free Trip Check

To simplify the process and make sure your car is ready for a long trip, stop by Christian Brothers Automotive Grant Road in Cypress, Texas. Our ASE certified technicians can do a complete trip and safety check at no charge. Call for an appointment at 281-370-9191. Drive safely!

Have a question about your vehicle? Need help with road trip preparation? Bring your car to our auto repair specialists in Cypress for all of your road trip needs. Contact Christian Brothers Automotive Grant Road today: (281) 305-0877.

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