The Impact of Road Trips on Your Car: Maintenance Checklist for Returning from a NZ Expedition

New Zealand's breathtaking landscapes are a haven for road trip enthusiasts. Whether you've journeyed through the lush forests, explored coastal routes, or tackled alpine adventures, your vehicle has been your trusty companion. However, the wear and tear from long drives and varying terrains can take a toll. In this guide, we'll provide a comprehensive checklist for post-road trip car care to ensure your vehicle remains in top shape after your Kiwi expedition.

Maintenance Checklist

1. Inspect Tires

Check tire pressure and tread depth. Long drives can lead to uneven wear, and proper inflation is crucial for safety and fuel efficiency.

2. Brake Inspection

Examine brake pads and rotors for wear and tear. Listen for unusual sounds when braking.

3. Fluid Levels

Check engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid levels. Top up or replace as needed.

4. Battery Health

Ensure the battery terminals are clean and the connections are secure. Consider a battery test to check its overall health.

5. Alignment and Suspension

Long drives, especially on uneven terrain, can affect alignment and suspension. If your vehicle pulls to one side or you notice unusual vibrations, get it checked.

6. Exterior Inspection

Look for dings, scratches, or damage to the vehicle's exterior. Promptly address any issues to prevent rust formation.

7. Interior Clean-Up

Thoroughly clean the interior, removing dust, dirt, and debris. Consider using PureWax's Interior Clean and Protect Kit for a pristine finish.

8. Undercarriage Cleaning

Wash the undercarriage to remove road salt, mud, or debris that can lead to corrosion. PureWax's Waterless Wash/Detail is a convenient option.

9. Check Lights and Signals

Test all lights, including headlights, taillights, turn signals, and brake lights. Replace any burnt-out bulbs.

10. Windshield Care:

During and after a road trip, it's essential to pay special attention to your vehicle's windshield. Here's what you should do:

  • Inspect for Chips or Cracks: Carefully examine the windshield for any chips or cracks. These can occur from flying debris on the road or from the impact of small rocks. If you find any damage, it's crucial to address it promptly. Even minor damage can spread over time and compromise the structural integrity of the windshield.
  • Repair or Replace: Depending on the size and severity of the damage, you might be able to repair it using a windshield repair kit. However, if the damage is extensive or in the driver's line of sight, it's often safer to replace the windshield.
  • Clean the Windshield: Clean the entire windshield thoroughly, both inside and out. Use a high-quality glass cleaner to remove dirt, bugs, and any residue that might affect visibility. A clean windshield ensures clear vision while driving.

11. Fluid Leaks:

Fluid leaks under your vehicle can be indicative of various issues. Here's what you should do if you notice fluid leaks:

  • Identify the Fluid: Different types of fluids can leak from your vehicle, including engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid, and even water from the air conditioning system. Identify the color and consistency of the fluid to determine what it might be.
  • Check Fluid Levels: After a road trip, it's a good practice to check the levels of essential fluids in your vehicle, even if you don't notice any leaks. Ensure that all fluids are at the appropriate levels. If you suspect a leak, this check can help identify which fluid is being lost.
  • Consult a Mechanic: If you do notice fluid leaks, it's advisable to consult a mechanic for a professional assessment. Leaks can stem from various sources, including damaged hoses, gaskets, or components. Timely identification and repair can prevent more significant issues and ensure the continued safe operation of your vehicle.

By addressing windshield issues and fluid leaks promptly, you can maintain the safety and longevity of your vehicle, ensuring it's ready for your next New Zealand expedition.

PureWax Products for Post-Trip Care

PureWax offers a range of car care products designed to simplify your post-road trip maintenance routine. From waterless wash solutions to premium dressing and interior cleaning kits, our products help you restore your vehicle's shine and protect its surfaces. Explore the PureWax range to make your post-expedition car care efficient and effective.

Remember, regular maintenance not only extends your car's lifespan but also ensures safe and reliable future adventures through New Zealand's stunning landscapes.

Disclaimer: This checklist is for general guidance. Always adapt your car care practices to your specific vehicle and the conditions encountered during your road trip.


Q1: How often should I check my tire pressure during a road trip?

A1: It's a good practice to check your tire pressure every few hundred kilometers, especially on long road trips. Uneven terrain and varying temperatures can affect tire pressure.

Q2: Can I wash my car with regular soap and water after a road trip?

A2: While you can wash your car with regular soap and water, using a specialized product like PureWax's Waterless Wash/Detail can save time and water while providing excellent results.

Q3: What should I do if I notice a chip or crack in my windshield during my road trip?

A3: If you spot damage to your windshield, it's best to address it as soon as possible. A small chip can often be repaired, preventing it from spreading into a larger crack.

Q4: Is it necessary to clean the undercarriage of my car after driving on gravel roads?

A4: Yes, cleaning the undercarriage is essential after driving on gravel roads. Gravel and debris can lead to corrosion if not removed promptly.

Q5: How can I protect my car's interior from dirt and stains during a road trip?

A5: Using protective products like seat covers and floor mats can help prevent dirt and stains. Additionally, PureWax's Interior Clean and Protect Kit is great for maintaining a clean and fresh interior.

Q6: What should I do if I encounter any strange noises or issues with my vehicle during a road trip?

A6: If you notice unusual sounds or problems with your vehicle, it's wise to have it inspected by a professional mechanic. Addressing issues early can prevent more significant problems later on.

Q7: Can I use regular water to clean the undercarriage, or should I use a specific product?

A7: While water can help rinse off loose debris, using a specialized undercarriage cleaner like PureWax's Waterless Wash/Detail is more effective at removing road salt and stubborn residue.

Remember that this FAQ section provides general guidance. Always adapt your car care practices to your specific vehicle and the conditions encountered during your road trip.