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How to Prepare Your Car for a Holiday Trip

Millions of Americans travel for the holidays. If you are driving to visit friends or family this holiday season, you need to take some time to ensure your car is prepared for the trip. This can help to decrease the chances of your car breaking down and leaving you stranded, instead of spending time with your loved ones. 

Here are some of the ways that your car needs to be prepared before you head out on a holiday road trip.


Before you head out on a road trip, it is important to ensure your maintenance is all up-to-date. This includes, at bare minimum, having your oil changed – but preferably having the full manufacturer’s recommended maintenance service performed based on your vehicle’s age and mileage. This helps to increase the dependability of your vehicle, helps you to get better fuel mileage and protect the investment you have made in your car.

Properly preparing your car for a holiday road trip can create a better experience for the whole family!


Always take the time to inspect your tires prior to going on a road trip. You want to check the condition and pressure of all of your tires, including your spare tire. It is important to complete a visual inspection of the whole tire, starting from your inside edges to the outside edges. Improper alignment can cause inside edges to become dangerously worn and you may not even see it without doing a full tire inspection.


Before heading out on a holiday road trip, don’t forget to prepare your battery. Have your battery tested to ensure it still has plenty of life left in it. If the battery is five years or older, replace it. Lastly, clean the surface of the battery to eliminate any surface discharge, which may prevent your car from starting.

Belts & Hoses

Modern belts and hoses last a long time, but they still need to be replaced periodically. Prior to going on a road trip, inspect all of your belts and hoses. Look for cracks on the ribbed side of the belt , with the best place to look being where it wraps backwards over the fan pulley or tensioner pulley.

Cabin Filter

The cabin filter in a car helps to filter air as it enters your car. You may be spending a lot of time in your car during a road trip. Replace the cabin filter to help ensure the air you are breathing is clean.

Clean Your Car

Before you go on a holiday trip, take the time to clean your car. Being in a clean car just makes you feel better. Cleaning your mirrors, windows and windshield can also help you to see better while on the road. Clean the interior and exterior of your vehicle before going on a road trip.


Finally, you want to give yourself as much room as possible in your car so yourself and your passengers can stretch out and relax. Consider using a rooftop carrier or a hitch-mounted carrier to get your luggage and holiday gifts out of the passenger compartment.

At CAMS automotive, we can help you prepare your car for a holiday trip by performing a pre-trip inspection and addressing any areas of concern. Book now with our online scheduling tool today to ensure your car is safe and ready when your car hits the roadways this holiday season.