What to check on your vehicle before a road trip?

Are you planning a road trip in the near or distant future?

Some of the most frequent glitches in a road trip are caused by the vehicle itself. Hence, good sense demands that your vehicle is thoroughly examined before hitting the road to save yourself the trouble of a technical failure on the trip.


One of the most critical components to check is the vehicle’s battery. Ensure that the battery contains a strong and consistent charge and that the terminals within it are clean. 

If you sense even the slightest problem with the battery, it is recommended that you book a service  at a Protyre service centre. All servicing options at Protyre involve an examination of your vehicle's battery.

Alternatively, why not take advantage of one of our free checks. Click the button below to book your car in for a battery check today:

Free Battery Check


Tyre inspection is crucial. Visually check the tyres to ensure that there are no bulges or tears on or near the side wall. Don't forget to check the spare tyre in the boot!

Be sure to check the amount of tread left in the tyre, before the road trip. Legally, a tyre has to have 1.6 mm of the tread left on the tyres, for the tyres to be safe.

In addition, the tyre pressure needs to be in accordance with the PSI mentioned on the vehicle's door jam or in the vehicle's user manual. Check the pressure of the spare tyre as well.

Tyre inspections are available in all available service options at Protyre. Book a vehicle service starting from £84.00 today.


Brake inspection is one of the most critical services available, considering the stake involved in failing brakes. Checking will ensure that the brakes pads are good to go!

The services centre will replace them in case they are worn out and run the risk of becoming non-functional. At Protyre, we offer many free vehicle checks to ensure yours is road-worthy and give you peace-of-mind. clcik the button below to book your car in for a free brake check

Free Brake Check

Load Capacity

It is important to ensure that the vehicle is not beyond its load capacity. It may seem like a trivial detail, but it affects factors like fuel consumption and tyres.

Most people overlook their vehicle’s load capacity while stuffing baggage or even extra people, but it can have consequences. An over-loaded car can also be difficult to handle in emergency situations such as sharp turns, introducing the risk of a roll-over.

To check the load capacity of your vehicle, look for it printed inside the driver’s door jam.


The air flow system of the vehicle should also be working and reliable. If the road trip is in a cold location, the heating system needs to be functional, and if the location is warm, then proper working air conditioning will be imperative to the road trip.


Maximum headlight strength is imperative to ensure safety, especially during fog or on unlit roads at night. Check for any cracks or fixtures on the headlight and get them repaired in a service centre.

To check that all lights in the headlight are fully functional, switch them on a dark road and see the results. If the lights are dim, then replace them without delay since they may become dimmer or completely fuse out during the road trip.

Another important factor is checking the headlights alignment to make sure it is correct.

It is also recommended that you carry extra bulbs for headlights in the case of damage or malfunction.

Engine temperature

Since a road trip involves continuous travel and invokes excess engine power; steps need to be taken to ensure that overheating of the engine does not occur.

To keep the engine temperature normal, check the radiator blades to ensure that they are clean and dirt-free.

Inspect, the electric fan along with the fan belt, to ensure their proper functioning. If their performance is below par, then they will need to be replaced or repaired.

Moreover, check the tank and replenish the coolant if need be.

Air and cabin filters

Before hitting the road, both the air and cabin filters need to be frequently cleared and occasionally replaced. Failure to do so can deteriorate the quality of air passed on through the air conditioning.

Oil and other vehicle fluids

A number of fluid checks need to be performed before the vehicle can be road-trip ready.

Make sure that the oil level is sufficient and the supply is clean. Depending on when the oil was completely changed previously, either add the appropriate weight oil or invest in a complete oil change. A complete change entails fresh oil as well as a new oil filter.

The clutch and brake fluid, as well as the Power Steering fluid levels, should also be inspected.

Maintaining the quantity as well as the quality of the car's fluid can prevent accidents and unnecessary breakdowns during the trip.


To ensure perfect visibility, clean the car windows thoroughly and ensure that the windshield wiper blades are fully functioning.

Be prepared

Once you have ensured that the vehicle is right and running, you might need to prepare a checklist for emergency backups as well as other essentials.

Keep supplies in case of a medical issue or an accident. Bring the first aid tool along with blankets and flashlights. Make sure everything is fully functioning and stocked in the vehicle.

Keep sufficient water and snacks especially if the road trip is towards a less inhabited area. Some special preparations may be needed for particular places. For example, a reflective warning triangle needs to be carried if travelling in an EU member state.

Finally, for prudence sake, carry out one final inspection of your vehicle by taking it to a trustworthy service station. Once they’ve given their clearance, you’re good to go. A reliable vehicle will undoubtedly do wonders for that coveted road trip.


Book a FREE seasonal safety check here

About the author

David Sholicar

David is the National Retail Operations Manager for Protyre. One of David’s areas of responsibility and ...

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