Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Advice on what type of service to do on a car before a road trip

asked by on

"I'd like to take a road trip soon. Should I use synthetic fluid like oil in transmission fluid or use regular fluid? What kind of service should I do before taking a road trip?"

A: My advice is to stick to one type of oil. I...

My advice is to stick to one type of oil. In my old cars, I’ve been using Castrol GTX forever. It’s normal and it’s not synthetic. I’ve never had a problem with it, they don’t burn out oil and they run completely fine. It’s best to stick with what you’ve been using, it’s not a good idea to switch from conventional oil to synthetic oil for example. There are a lot of times when it is going to start leaking oil or start burning oil. Basically, stick to the oil you’ve been using if you are not having any problems.

Another important thing you should check before you hit the road is your tires. See if your tires are cracked and make sure they are full of air. Also, check for cracks in the fan belts and hoses, if so you’ll need replacements. Double check everything to make sure your parts have been maintained correctly.

If the oil is dirty, change it before your trip. You can check the batteries and alternator for free usually at an auto parts store or if through a mechanic. Lastly check if your battery is on it’s last leg, if so get it changed before your trip. These checks should prevent you from getting stranded out in the middle of nowhere.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Oil leak on the hose which came form valve cover to air intake . Engine is new and recently worked on.

Hi there. By looking at the photos that you have provided is shows that the PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) valve is blowing by and causing engine oil to go through the PCV tube. Since your engine has a turbo on...

Q: Charging 14 volts and drops to 11 volts then back and forth

This is most likely caused by a poor connection to the voltage regulator or the alternator. Try to lightly wiggle the alternator wires all the way from the battery to the alternator and regulator connections to see if you can...

Q: How do I know when to change my tires?

Mechanics usually check tires with a tread depth gauge that measures in 1/32 of an inch. Depending on the tire it can be manufactured anywhere between 8/32 to 13/32 of an inch of tread. Tires become unsafe and illegal, depending...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...