Car Maintenance Guide: Preparing Your Vehicle for a Road Trip

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Car Maintenance Guide: Preparing Your Vehicle for a Road Trip

Get ready to hit the road this summer with an unforgettable road trip! But before you embark on your journey, let ACE Hardware ensure that your car is in tip-top shape. 

Here are some essential tips to get your car ready for a long and exciting drive.

Inspect car tires

Before going off to travel, inspect if your tires are in good condition to drive. Make sure to check all four car tires for cuts, holes, or bulges. Replaced worn-out tires with new ones. It’s also essential for car tires to be properly inflated. 

To check the tire pressure, start with cold rubber. You can find the vehicle tire’s recommended pounds per square inch or PSI at the driver’s side door jamb or owner’s manual. Measure the tire’s air pressure using a pressure gauge. If the tire is low on pressure, fill them with air using a car tire inflator as needed.

Coido Tire Inflator with Light 300PSI 12V

Do not forget to inspect the car tire tread. To do so, insert a Peso coin into the groove, with the coin’s head side facing upright. If your tire's tread is still in good condition, the year at the bottom of the coin should be partially covered when inserted. 

Test the brakes

It is essential to double-check your car brakes regularly before and after every trip. Inspecting the brake pads for signs of worn-out indicates the best time to have them replaced or checked at a repair shop.

Listen to your brakes for any grinding or metal scraping sounds. Pay close attention to noisy brakes as it is an early sign that they need to be changed. If you’re running low on brake fluid, make sure to replenish as needed.

Top off car engine fluids

Check the engine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, coolant, and power steering fluid of your car. Make sure that all essential car maintenance fluids are at the correct levels for safe driving. It’s also important to know which type of fluid to use based on the specifications in the owner’s manual.

Don’t miss regular oil changes and checkups to keep your car in the best condition to drive. Keep the car’s cooling system at good levels to keep the air conditioning running cool and avoid engine overheating. 


STP Heavy Duty Brake Fluid, STP Oil Treatment, STP Engine Stop Leak, and STP Petrol Treatment

Replace windshield wiper blades and fluids

Windshield wipers get streaky and worn out over time. Debris, insects, dust, and more get stuck to your car’s wiper blades when traveling. Before you set off on another trip, check the wipers for any build-ups that cause streaks. 

When you wash your car, clean them using rubber alcohol and a clean cloth. If the wiper blades are damaged, it’s time to replace them with a new set. 

Type S Windshield Wiper 24" 600MM

Aside from the wipers, you should also refill your windshield washer fluid reservoir. Use a washer fluid to replenish the reservoir. Avoid using other fluids like plain water as it could damage your car’s washer pump. 

Test your car’s battery

Nothing ruins a trip more than having a dead battery in the middle of the road. So before hitting the road, make sure to check your car battery for signs of corrosion or rust buildup. 

A weak car battery is caused by old battery age. Look out for signs such as lazy engine sounds and flickering overhead lights. You can also test the car battery at home using a multimeter. 

Check the headlights, tail lights, and safety lights

For your and other drivers’ safety, your car’s headlights, tail lights, and safety lights must be aligned and working properly. 

The easy way to check your car lights is to turn the vehicle engine on and hold the handbrake. Walk around the car and visually inspect for broken bulbs or misaligned lights. Replace the bulb or check the fuse for the cause.

Clean your car like a pro

A much-needed car check-up doesn’t stop at inspecting the engines. It’s also important to maintain your vehicle from the inside out. Protect your tires and interior from wear and tear with a protector spray.

VS1 Protector 250ml

Keep your car’s interior fresh and free from dust, grime, and dirt using your trusted car vacuum cleaner for needed interior cleaning. Clean, polish, and protect your car’s exterior with a multi-use car cleaner that thoroughly dissolves dirt and grime and leaves your shiny for travel. 

Coido 12V Wet & Dry Vacuum Cleaner

Armor All Wash & Wax Speed Shine

Pack an emergency kit

Prepare a car emergency kit for long road trips. It should include car maintenance tools such as flashlights, extra car batteries, spare tires, booster cables, floor jack, air pump, emergency reflectors, gasoline can, and tire changing tools. 

Get ready for an epic summer road trip with ACE Hardware's car maintenance checklist! Don't let car problems slow you down when you can enjoy the open road to the fullest. And the best part? You can score up to a 30% discount on car products and tools this April!

Rev up your engines and head to or your nearest ACE Hardware store to find everything you need for your car. From top-quality auto parts to handy tools, ACE Hardware has got you covered. So buckle up, hit the gas, and have a safe and thrilling adventure this summer!