I'm planing to make a 4 day long road trip throughout Europe beginning in Scandinavia all the way down to Spain in the middle of summer and need some car advice.

I've driven around with a small coolant leak for a few months however this might become a catastrophic problem during the blazing summer heat so I will have to fix that.

What are some basic and critical things to check on a car before a summer roadtrip?

For reference:

Car: 2004 Seat ibiza 6L

Mileage: 110000 km (63000 miles)

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! May 8, 2023 at 17:43

1 Answer 1


Beyond "Checks" I would highly recommend a full oil and filters service before a big trip (unless it's been done recently)

My (possibly a bit excessive) checklist would be:

  • Condition and pressure of tyres including spare, are all tools present?
  • Condition of all brake pads, shoes, disks, drums
  • Brake fluid level and condition (Carry spare)
  • Power steering fluid level and condition (if fitted)
  • Engine oil level and condition (Carry spare)
  • Condition of all engine drive belts
  • Condition of all CV joint boots
  • Condition of battery and electrical system (+ Carry spare fuses)
  • Condition of all wiper blades and washer jets
  • Inspect under engine / gearbox for oil/fluid leaks
  • Washer fluid topup (Carry spare)
  • Condition of spark plugs and leads
  • Are you aware of any knocks / bangs etc from the suspension / steering?
  • Condition of all lights and bulbs (plus carry a spare set)
  • If you have A/C does it work? You'll want that in Spain!

Be sure to check requirements for things you need to carry in the countries you'll pass through, such as fluorescent jacket, warning triangle, alcohol breath tester etc as some are compulsory.

Check you have adequate insurance and recovery/ repatriation provision.

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