Franklin Auto Repair Complete Roadtrip Checklist

With winter in full swing here in Middle Tennessee and spring surely on the way, it’s almost that time of the year for fun and adventure on the road to commence! If a spring excursion is on your list of things to do this year, it’s important to take into consideration the vehicle’s needs before you leave. After the cold has passed, we’re all itching to get outdoors, out of the house, and some of us, on the road. As part  of your planning, we’ve put together a complete checklist from your trusted Franklin auto repair specialists at Auto Clinic of Franklin. We hope this helps you leave worrying about the condition of your vehicle to the experts at Auto Clinic of Franklin so you can enjoy your adventure without fail.

Road trips can be like running a marathon to your vehicle. Whether you’re traveling a couple hundred miles or a few thousand miles roundtrip, it’s essential to make sure these important tasks are taken care of before and during your journey. If you can’t depend on your car to get you where you’re going, your whole trip could be ruined! Of course, car care and routine maintenance are required throughout the year, but there are specific tasks that you should complete before a long road trip.


Snow TiresHaving good tires on your vehicle before you travel is a must. Tires are important for a safe journey, a comfortable ride, and improved fuel efficiency. Knowing how to check the condition and air pressure of your tires is as important as knowing how to put fuel in your car.

Air Pressure should be checked every 1,000 miles or upon visual signs of deflation. Tires that are underinflated guarantee higher fuel consumption and wasted gasoline. Overinflated tires can improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency but will create a more rigid ride, faster tire wear, and safety concerns. Knowing your tire’s proper air pressure is as easy as reading the fine print on the outside of your tire. Check the air pressure with a pressure gauge, which is available at any automotive center for about $5.

Tire Wear is something that can be easily inspected every few thousand miles. The penny test is one of the best ways to gauge your tire tread depth and safe operational tread depth levels. Take a penny and flip it so that Abraham Lincoln’s head is at the bottom. Stick it inside the outermost tread of the tire. Does the tread come to the top of Honest Abe’s head? If not, it’s probably time for new tires. Your local franklin auto repair experts at Auto Clinic of Franklin specialize in beautiful, quality tires for the most efficient and comfortable ride you can find! We can also balance, rotate, and align your vehicles if necessary. If you think replacement tires are necessary, don’t hesitate to reach out to us before your road trip so we can have our specialists get you on the road asap. Typically, a new set of tires is good for anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000 miles.


Your vehicle operates with multiple systems: transmission, engine lubrication, brakes, coolant, and many other important and necessary systems. Making sure all the fluids in those systems are free of debris and filled to the right levels can sometimes be easily checked by the car owner. Other times, it’s a preference of most to bring the vehicle in to your trusted Franklin auto repair professional for a complete fluid check. Important fluids include radiator fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, windshield wiper fluid and transmission fluid to keep your vehicle running at its best.


Some general items to be looked at before your big road trip include your air filters, light bulbs, and brake pads/rotors. You’ll want to make sure that everything is operating as it should for an easy drive.

Air filters work by removing particulate matter, dust and other dirty things from entering your engine and interior. Just like your HVAC system at home, once the air filter is full, cycling fresh air efficiently gets difficult. A dirty air filter can be a huge drain on your vehicle and should be replaced every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. Typically they are inexpensive and fairly easy to change.

Lights have all sorts of different functions in your vehicle from dashboard alerts, to interior cabin lights, and of course headlights, tail lights, and turn signals on the exterior of your vehicle. Perform a visual inspection of your exterior lights to make sure they’re all functioning properly. Changing bulbs can sometimes be challenging depending on the type of vehicle you drive, but don’t worry. The team here at Auto Clinic of Franklin can handle changing your bulbs and make sure all your lights are working as they should, inside and out.

Brake pads and rotors make sure you’re able to safely stop your vehicle. If you have a hard time stopping, any sort of noises coming from the brakes, or a rough scratching feeling when you apply the brakes, you could be in need of brake pad repair or rotor replacement.

As you can see, there are many different elements that need to be checked over before you head out on your big adventure. For a full road trip inspection, stop into your trusted Franklin auto repair shop, Auto Clinic of Franklin, and we’ll have you ready to hit the road in no time!

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