(a 5 minute read)

Don’t let emergency breakdowns spoil your vacation! Get your vehicle road trip ready with this handy pre-trip checklist.

Road Trip Ready

This post is sponsored by ACDelco, but all text and opinions are mine.

So you have done the pre-planning, conducted your research, and designed the perfect itinerary for your road trip, but have you forgotten something?

With your logistics in perfect order, take care not to overlook the mechanics of the vehicle set to carry you to those amazing destinations. Preventive maintenance will not only help ensure that you have a safe, enjoyable journey, but it will increase the longevity of your vehicle, as well.

That is why ACDelco enlisted Backroad Planet to help you get your vehicle road trip ready.

Whether you are a backyard mechanic like Jerry who can do the work yourself, or a novice like me who prefers to let the professionals do the work, ACDelco Auto Parts Stores and Service Centers can help you out.

Either way, this handy checklist will help you cover all the bases.

Road Trip Ready Checklist

Vehicle Preventive Maintenance

Perform the following inspections according to your vehicle’s Owner’s Manual maintenance schedules. or take your vehicle to an ACDelco Auto Service Center for professional care.

☐ Check fluid levels: oil, transmission, brakes, power steering, windshield washer, and coolant.

☐ Check belts and hoses.

☐ Check brakes and lights.

☐ Check wiper blades.

☐ Check the pressure of all tires, including the spare.

Before You Leave . . .

☐ Plan your route and leave a copy of your itinerary with a relative or neighbor.

☐ Make sure your trunk has a jack, lug wrench, and other tools you’ll need to change a tire.

☐ Carry a flashlight with extra batteries, emergency reflectors, and sunglasses.

☐ Pack a vehicle tool kit and additional emergency items.

☐ Assemble and pack a vehicle first aid kit (suggested items).

☐ Take your driver’s license and vehicle registration, plus auto and medical insurance cards.

☐ Carry a spare set of vehicle keys.

☐ Always keep at least half a tank of gas in your vehicle.

(Download a printable PDF of the Road Trip Ready Checklist!)

How to Get Your Vehicle Road Trip Ready 1

Quality Parts


ACDelco is the premier supplier of Original Equipment on all General Motors vehicles, meaning that every GM vehicle that rolls off the line is outfitted with ACDelco parts. Replacing worn equipment on any GM vehicle with ACDelco parts is the best way to restore it to like-new condition. Even if you do not drive a GM make, ACDelco provides high-quality parts for all major vehicle systems, including:

Find Auto Parts


If you are able to do your own repairs and maintenance, there are two ways to acquire ACDelco parts:

ACDelco Auto Parts Store Locator

Enter your zip code or city and state into the Auto Parts Store Locator to find the outlet nearest you that carries quality ACDelco parts.

Order ACDelco Auto Parts Online

Selecting the part you need from the drop-down menu of the Order Auto Parts Online page will direct you to authorized ACDelco Auto Parts Affiliates who will ship parts to your address.

Find a Service Center


ACDelco Auto Repair Locator

Enter your zip code or city and state into the Auto Repair Locator to find an Independent Service Center that features ACDelco parts.

Professional service centers can help you be sure your vehicle is ready for your next road trip by checking wipers, brakes, and your battery’s remaining charge. Should your vehicle require service, an ACDelco professional service center technician can recommend the correct replacement parts.

Visit ACDelco.com for more information on parts, service, and care care tips.

We Would Love to Hear from You!

Jerry and I enjoy dialogue with our readers, especially when they share road trip tips. If you can recommend road trip routes, destinations, or resources, we would love to hear from you. We invite you to leave your comments and questions below, and we always respond!

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Don't let emergency breakdowns spoil your vacation! Get your vehicle road trip ready with this handy pre-trip checklist. Free PDF download!


Helpful Links

The Ultimate Road Trip Planner: Part 1 Pre-Planning

The Ultimate Road Trip Planner: Part 2 Research

The Ultimate Road Trip Planner: Part 3 Itinerary

Road Trip Ready Checklist

ACDelco Auto Parts Store Locator

Order ACDelco Auto Parts Online

ACDelco Service Center Locator


How to Get Your Vehicle Road Trip Ready 2
Howard Blount is founder and co-owner of the travel blog BackroadPlanet.com. He has traveled internationally since boyhood and lived abroad in Mexico, Chile, and Paraguay. Now his passion is navigating the roads-less-traveled of this amazing planet in search of anything rare and remote. On the stuffy side, “Mr. Blount” has been a writer, consultant, and published author with the likes of Simon & Schuster and McGraw-Hill. Recently retired from a 35-year career as a middle school teacher, Howard enjoys spending his time on anything that includes mountains, waterfalls, dachshunds, gospel choirs, books, restored classic movies on Blu-ray, HDTV, autumn, sandhill cranes, hot springs, Florida springs, rain and other gloomy weather, log cabins, cracker shacks, abandoned sites, unearthed history, genealogy, museums, documentaries, To Kill a Mockingbird, scenic and historical sites, castles, cathedrals, the Civil War, cold sheets, National and State Park Passports, quotes, the Rambos, Dionne Warwick, Steely Dan, Doobies, Diet Pepsi, Fish City Grill, anything Apple, all things British, Jesus, and lists. And on a random note, Howard is a fourth cousin once removed to Truman Capote.