During the holidays we all plan trips. Whether going to one place or going on a cross country tour you need to plan in advance for the trip. This is why you look for road trip planner guides online and road trip planning books so that you can be prepared.

best road trip planner

However, did you ever think about your car? Unless you are going outside of the country you would need to prepare your car for the trip as well. Your car will go and travel with you everywhere. So to ensure and help avoid car failures and breakdown mid-trip you need to do a few checkups.

We here at AutopartsZ have made an extensive list of things that you need to check so that you can have a safe uninterrupted road trip. The following is a checklist of the road trip planner for your car.

Filters & Fluids

So first up you need to do a basic fluid check. This includes all the types of fluids needed in your car. You should always make sure you check engine oil, anti-freeze coolant, windshield washer fluid, power steering fluid, brake, and transmission fluid.

cross country road trip planner: filters and fluids

These are often ignored by car owners and can hamper your car’s performance by a lot. You need to make sure your car has adequate levels of these fluids. When checking the fluid levels you should make sure that there are no leaks in the systems.

Ensuring these things will not only save you money on gas expenses but also make sure that the parts don’t break down due to friction. You should also check the filters if they are worn out or not. Worn out, damaged, or clogged air filters will definitely make your car put out low-performance stats.

Light Test

So whenever you are going on a road trip you are bound to drive at night or in low visibility conditions. This is why you need to check all the lights perfectly working.

USA road trip planner: light test

You should put additional care in checking the brake lights. These are in constant use and should be functioning perfectly as they are a safety concern.

Wiper Test

It's a simple process, you just need to check whether or not the wipers in your car are properly cleaning the windshield without impairing your vision or not.

Check if the washers are spraying properly as well. Once you confirm that everything is perfect you are done.

Checking The Wheels 7 Tires

Well, tires are arguably the most used part of your car as they are always in contact with the road. You won’t be able to move without them. So when planning a long road trip you need to make sure that your car’s tires are in perfect shape.

Check for tread depth, damage, inflections, and bubbles. Also, you need to make sure that your car has perfect tire pressure so that your car can perform efficiently when traveling long distances.

Brake & Clutch Test

Brake pads are a safety issue. You need to make sure that they have not worn out before you take your car on a road trip. So ideally brake pads are 5 mm thick and if you see that the brake pads have gone under it then you should have them replaced.

kid-friendly road trip planner: brake and clutch test

Handbrakes should also be checked before going on a road trip. One of the easiest ways to check it is to see how many times it clicks before holding the car in its place. If you hear any more than four clicks then you need to go to a mechanic.

Now brake and clutch are the ones that utilize the brake pads so you need to ensure that they are responding well when used. If not then immediately consult an expert. Whatever you do not take your car on a road trip without this safety check.

Drive Belt Check

The drive belt is an important aspect of your car. It keeps the car moving by distributing the energy throughout. So it is imperative that you have a perfectly functioning drive belt when taking your car out. If there is a drive belt break down you will most definitely have total engine shutdown.

You don’t want that in the middle of the road trip. Remember if there is a crack and the belt does break down then you will not be able to do a lot of things. You won’t be able to charge your car’s battery. Also, your car will overheat because the water pump of the car is controlled by the drive belt.

Steering Check

Some checks can only be done when driving. However, you should ensure that they are done before any road trip. Go to an expert have them check out the car while driving they will be able to tell if the car is pulling a certain way or not.

cool road trips: steering checks

They will be on the lookout for things such as engine sounds, vibrations, and suspension. Once everything is checked and finalized that they are functioning perfectly you can take your car out for a long road trip.


On top of all these when planning a road trip you should always keep perfectly inflated tire/tires so that you don’t fall in a bind if the tires fail in the middle of nowhere. Make sure that all the things like a spare tire, the jack, and spanner are there and work as well. If you don’t know how to change tires then you should learn it before going out. It's a pretty simple thing and it won’t take you any time to learn.

So there you go, these are the road trip planner guide for your car. Make sure you follow all these when planning your road trip. These here will not only keep you save but save you a lot of money a well.

So with that being said, I will draw the curtains here. Let us know in the comments below how you like our road trip planner guide. We are eagerly awaiting your feedback so do let us know. Till then Adios!.