2011 Dodge Grand Caravan - What should I check before a long trip?

I am going on a long trip and I need to check my van.

Of course you do . But since you did not ask a question I have nothing else.

We usually have our vehicles looked over by our regular mechanic. He knows more about what to look for than I do. If you’re into DIY, here’s a checklist: https://www.news24.com/you/Money/10-things-you-need-to-check-in-your-car-before-your-road-trip-20171221-2

I’d start by checking my AAA membership. I would upgrade to a premium subscription if I didn’t already have it.

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I always change the motor oil (and transmission if it’s been a while) and check the entire car over; replacing any belts, tensioners, or other wear items such as wipers which could be a problem. I also clean battery cable terminals and posts.
That last thing I want is to get 500 miles down the road and run into a you should have situation…

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Back in 1972, I took a drive from NJ to FL in a colleague’s stick shift Maverick. At the first gas fill-up, the attendant who checked the oil brought the dipstick over to the driver’s window and asked, “When was the last time that you changed this tar?”.
My colleague’s reply was, “Oh, I don’t believe in oil changes”.

Fast forward to Richmond, VA, where the never-lubricated shift linkage snapped.
Then we actually made it as far as… somewhere… in South Carolina when the engine overheated because the cooling system had never been serviced. The radiator actually blew its top seam as a result, and we were stranded for hours.

If I had known that this guy’s car had NEVER been serviced since he had bought it 4 years earlier, I would never have agreed to drive to Florida in it.

Yes, the OP needs to have every maintenance item that is due–either on the basis of odometer mileage or elapsed time–taken care of prior to the trip, and he needs to have his mechanic do a thorough inspection.

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In additon check the air pressure in your spare tire if so equipped.

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How long is long, 125 miles, 1,500 miles, 6, 487 miles?

I maintain and check my vehicles regularly. So, when I take a trip of 20 miles or 2,000 miles they’re ready. In my opinion, one shouldn’t wait for a long road trip to check anything differently.

I do check vital fluids, engine oil level and coolant level (visually), at fuel stops during long trips, whereas I’d just check them weekly during regular short hop usage.

:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

Are your tires good, not too old, and correctly inflated?