Road-Trip Repairs Every Beginner Should Know

Breakdowns can happen at any time when traveling long distance on a road trip. Although a tow truck and a mechanic are necessary for repairs involving certain complex parts like the engine, transmission, and axles, there are plenty of smaller repairs that anyone can perform. Keep in mind these common small breakdown problems and the do-it-yourself fixes when preparing for your next road trip.

Road-Trip Repairs Every Beginner Should Know


The head and tail lights contain easy-to-replace light bulbs. Learn how to swap out these bulbs and stores replacements in your vehicle. You can also resolve many electrical problems by simply swapping out a blown fuse that helps control power distribution or by carrying jumper cables, a portable charger, and/or a spare battery. Lastly, always carry red electrical tape. It is the perfect solution for wrapping damaged wire covers and/or broken wires chewed by wild animals. Red electrical tape can also be used to cover holes in broken red tail light surfaces.


Many beginners forget that tires deflate naturally over time, especially when used a lot and exposed to frequent or rapid temperature changes. A portable air compressor or aerosol tire inflator used to inflate and balance tires in the middle of nowhere can help prevent tire-related accidents and keep your vehicle on the right track. If a tire starts to leak air from rubber deterioration or impact with a sharp object like a stone or nail, you can repair the tire temporarily with an inflator/sealant product like Fix-A-Flat, Hutchinson Fast’Air, or Slime Tire Sealant.


Sometimes a tool or piece of equipment can help you fix more than one repair problem during a road trip. For example, you can use a damp melamine resin foam eraser, toothpaste and water to remove bugs and yellow discoloration from headlights to see better in fog. The same eraser can serve double duty as an absorbent sponge during an oil or antifreeze spill. Duct tape is another handy tool. You can use it to tape cardboard over a broken door window or to secure a piece of the vehicle’s body that might otherwise fall off after impact with a deer, tree, or other object. Keep a travel tool case in your trunk filled with these and other items to stay prepared in any emergency.

You do not need to lose days from your road trip or waste a lot of money in parts and repairs to deal with many types of common breakdowns. As you can see, you simply need to know the types of do-it-yourself products available and use a bit of creativity.