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6 Step Road Trip Checklist for your Car

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6 Step Road Trip Checklist

The weather has been glorious lately. Even reaching 84 degrees over the weekend. This warm weather is just calling me to be outside enjoying every minute. And we will be soon enough as our Spring and Summer road trip series will begin kicking off soon. We’ll be traveling to some fun places this summer and since we’ll be driving, there are a few things that we need to check out on our vehicle before we head out to make sure we are safe and comfortable throughout our journey. If you’re plans have you heading out on the road this year here are a few things to check out before you hit the road! 

6 Step Road Trip Checklist

We’ve already went on a few road trips right here in New Jersey on these warmer days and I’m looking forward to summer to really get out there and create some fun family memories.

Before we head out on any trip, especially longer ones, there are a few things we check for. If you own a vehicle you’re probably already doing most of these things but it’s a good idea to give your vehicle a quick once over in addition to regular maintenance before you head out on the road.


Schedule a quick visit to your local service station to have your brakes checked if you’re not sure what to look for or if you don’t know. You definitely want to make sure there is plenty of life left on your brake pads and they don’t need replacing.


You don’t want to be caught in a rain storm with wipers that need replacing. Check the wiper blades and if they show signs of wear, replace them before heading out.


Inspect all your tires for any tears or bulges in the side wall. The tires should have a good amount of tread left. The easiest way to check this is with a penny. Turn the penny so that Lincoln’s head points down into the tread and see if the top of his head disappears. If you can see his entire head, it may be time to replace that tire as the tread is no longer deep enough.


Check the fluid levels in your car and make sure everything looks good and refill anything that might be lacking like windshield wiper fluid. If you’re due for an oil change, schedule that before you leave to help keep your car running great.

6 Step Road Trip Checklist


You never know when an emergency will strike like a dead battery. So I grabbed a small tote and filled it will essentials like a first aid kit, jumper cables and an emergency kit with tools and more. I put everything inside the tote so it’s all in one spot inside my trunk and it’s easily accessible.

6 Step Road Trip Checklist


This is one not a lot of people think about. Even my husband didn’t think about changing ours when I suggested it. Cabin air filters clean the air you and your family breather inside your vehicle and are an often overlooked part of routine car maintenance. Now they don’t have to be anymore. I’m here to tell you that they’re super easy to change and you can even do it yourself. I did it in my SUV in under ten minutes.

6 Step Road Trip Checklist

We are a family of allergy suffers, so when I read that the air inside your vehicle can be up to 6X’s dirtier than the air outside, I knew it was time to change it. Especially if we’re spending a lot of time in there on road trips. I picked up a FRAM Fresh Breeze® cabin air filter that filters up to 98%* of dust, dirt and allergens from entering my vehicle. The FRAM Fresh Breeze® cabin air filter is the only cabin air filter that uses the natural deodorizing qualities of ARM & HAMMER® baking soda. Contaminants that enter your vehicle with outside air can become concentrated, exposing passengers to higher levels of dust, dirt and allergens than outside the car and that’s just gross.

You should change your cabin air filter annually or every 12,000 miles (follow recommended change intervals as noted in your vehicle owner’s manual). While I haven’t hit that mileage marker in the Yukon yet, it is over a year old and I figured now was as good a time as ever to change it.

6 Step Road Trip Checklist

In just a few easy steps, I had the new cabin air filter installed and checked one more thing off my to-do list. The first step was locating where the cabin air filter was. In my 2015 GMC Yukon, it’s located behind the glove box.  So the first thing I did was unhinge the glove box door so it hung to the bottom.

6 Step Road Trip Checklist

Then I began removing the screws holding the back panel in place. Once the screws were removed, I gently removed the panel.

6 Step Road Trip Checklist

Once the panel was removed, I could see the cabin air filter compartment. It had two clips on top that I unclipped and voila, there was my cabin air filter.

6 Step Road Trip Checklist

I could already see the dirt and debris on it. I pulled the old one out, then inserted my new FRAM Fresh Breeze® cabin air filter (make sure the arrow is pointing down) and that’s it.

6 Step Road Trip Checklist

Probably one of the easiest things to replace in your vehicle.

6 Step Road Trip Checklist provides installation guides in their part lookup. These installation guides are provided by video and via written instructions so you can see how to install it on your specific vehicle. even provide a texting feature which allows your search results (installation videos and part number) to be sent to your phone for easy recall of search results to improve our consumers’ in-store shopping and installation experience.

6 Step Road Trip Checklist

I found the FRAM Fresh Breeze® cabin air filter in Walmart in the automotive section along with everything I picked up for our emergency kit. Now we’re ready to hit the road for some fun family adventures. To see if your vehicle has a cabin air filter, and if so, which filter to purchase CLICK HERE.

Are you planning any fun road trips this summer?



Wednesday 19th of April 2017

This is a great list to have especially with Summer coming up! I had no idea there was a filter in there! LOL! I need to take a look now!

Carrie @ourpotluckfamily

Wednesday 19th of April 2017

We took two major road trips last year: from south Florida to Maine and south Florida to New Orleans. My car has probably taken some serious abuse, so I should check the cabin air filter. I also love your tip for when to change tires - I had never heard of using a penny before! #client

Claudia Krusch

Wednesday 19th of April 2017

This is a great checklist for your car. It is so important to have regular maintenance done to prevent issues. I always have my car checked out before a big rad trip.

Lois Alter Mark

Tuesday 18th of April 2017

This is a great checklist to make sure your car is road trip-ready. It's also a good reminder for me to take my car in for its regular maintenance!

Jacqui Odell

Tuesday 18th of April 2017

I need to get that filter too. My son and I have bad allergies!