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Is Your Car Road Trip Ready?

Published Fri May 21, 2021


The sun is out, the grass is green and we’re all tired of sitting inside. The open roads are calling your name and are looking to take you away. You can never be too careful about summer car care when pre-trip maintenance is involved. It is unlikely anyone has ever traveled and regretted spending time on pre-trip maintenance, though it is highly possible auto owners have regretted not doing more to prepare. Before you set out, make sure you and your car are ready for the long trip ahead. 


4 Questions to Ask While You Plan:

  • What kind of conditions will you encounter, and can your car handle them?
  • How many miles do you want to put on your car and how many miles are you comfortable driving in one day?
  • What’s your game plan if something happens to your car? (Meineke Rewards Members receive free towing – keep this number handy 844-888-8697)
  • Is your car ready for your road trip?

To check if your car is ready for your great escape, a check-up should include the following:


The 6 Essential Fluids

  • Engine Oil should be checked every 1,000 to 3,000 miles with a new filter replacement every oil change.
  • Low Engine Coolant can cause overheating, especially in hot weather when you have a fully loaded vehicle.
  • Change your Brake Fluid if the brake pedal starts to feel soft and spongy or approximately every 24,000 miles.
  • Power Steering Fluid should be replaced annually to extend the life of your Steering gear and Power Steering pump.
  • Check the Transmission Fluid whenever you get an oil change and replaced according to the manufacturer’s scheduled maintenance.
  • Remember the importance of fresh wipers and Windshield Washer Fluid to ensure a safe driving experience during weather events.


  • Air Pressure should be checked at least every 1000 miles. To be on the safe side, check visually at every stop.
  • A Rotation should be done every 5,000 to 8,000 miles or sooner if you notice uneven wear.
  • The Condition of your tires should be checked for noticeable damages. Uneven tread wear and odd wear patterns mean that a checkup is overdue.
  • Wheel Alignment check will extend tire life and fuel mileage.

General Maintenance

  • Brake Pads can last between 25,000 to 50,000 miles before they wear thin. You should have them checked at every oil change.
  • Air Filters, both in the engine and cabin, should be replaced every 10,000 to 15,000 miles or as suggested in the owners’ manual.
  • Light Bulbs are easy to look over until you’re driving in the dark. Make sure to check all lights before you take off.
  • Belts and Hoses should get a quick check over for any cracks or fraying, especially inside the belt.
  • If the Battery is over two years old, check and clean corrosive build-up on the cables.

Stop by your independently owned & operated Meineke shop for a FREE Road Trip Check before you take off this summer. And if you find yourself in need of a fix on your trip, Meineke has a network of locations across the U.S. and Canada with the same great service you’re used to.