How to Prep Your Car for Texas to California Car Shipping?

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When you put a valuable item like your car in the hands of a car shipping service, you need to be prepared and do your research. There may be a lot you don’t know about the trip your car is about to take, but there is one thing you can control: how well your car is prepared for this trip. 

Preparing your car for shipping isn’t just a formality; it’s a responsible way to protect your car’s integrity and make sure it goes smoothly from you to the shipping service. 

This detailed guide is meant to show you all the little things you need to do to get your car ready for the trip and make sure it doesn’t get damaged on the way. Click here for more

Deep Clean and Examination

Car Shipping Tips: How to Prepare Your Vehicle for Transportation

Starting with a clean slate—literally—is a crucial first step, folks. Before shipping, give your car a thorough wash as soon as possible. This isn’t merely about aesthetics; a clean car reveals any existing scratches, dings, or dents. Once cleaned, inspect the vehicle’s exterior meticulously. 

Document any visible damages, no matter how minor. This record will be instrumental when checking the car’s condition upon arrival at the destination. Taking photographs from multiple angles, and ensuring they’re date-stamped, can offer added evidence, should any disputes arise.

Secure or Remove Protruding Parts

Any component of your car that protrudes, such as side mirrors, antennas, or after-market spoilers, runs the risk of being damaged during transit. If possible, fold in the side mirrors, retract or remove the antenna, and consider removing custom additions that are not securely fastened or are particularly delicate. The aim is to reduce the vehicle’s external “footprint” and the potential for snags or impacts.

Empty the Vehicle of Personal Belongings

Shipping companies often have strict regulations about transporting personal items within a car. This is both for safety reasons and to ensure the vehicle’s weight remains within acceptable limits. Before the car is shipped, remove all personal belongings, including items in the trunk. Only standard car equipment, like a spare tire or jack, should remain.

Address Mechanical Issues

If your vehicle has any quirks or mechanical issues, it’s essential to address them or, at the very least, notify the shipping company. This includes problems related to brakes, engine troubles, or even minor issues like a faulty handbrake. 

If your car has an alarm system, either disable it or provide detailed instructions on how to turn it off if it gets triggered. A smoothly operating vehicle ensures a smoother shipping process and prevents potential logistical headaches.

Check Fluid Levels and Look for Leaks

While it’s essential for your car to be in good operational condition, it doesn’t need a full tank of gas for shipping. In fact, it’s advisable to have only about a quarter tank of fuel, reducing the vehicle’s weight. Also, check all fluid levels and ensure there are no leaks. A leaking vehicle might not only damage the carrier but can also contaminate other vehicles being transported. Learn more interesting info on this page

Ensure Adequate Tire Pressure

Tires are the vehicle’s primary contact point with the ground and play an integral role during the loading and unloading process. Before shipping, ensure all tires are inflated to the appropriate pressure. Over or under-inflated tires can pose risks, particularly when the car is being moved on or off the transporter.

Make Note of the Vehicle’s Condition

Apart from photographing the vehicle’s exterior, consider taking the vehicle for a short drive and noting its performance. Document the mileage and any specific quirks you notice. This proactive step not only ensures you’re familiar with the car’s pre-shipping condition but also provides a baseline to check against once the car arrives at its destination.

Provide Special Instructions if Necessary

Every vehicle is unique, and if there are specific instructions for handling your car, ensure you communicate them clearly to the shipping company. Whether it’s a particular way to start the car, a sensitivity in its handling, or any other unique aspect, detailed instructions can prevent potential mishaps.

Double-Check the Shipping Contract

Before you ship car from Texas to California, our advice to you is to also revisit the shipping contract. Ensure all services you’ve agreed upon are documented. Familiarize yourself with the terms, especially those related to insurance coverage, responsibilities, and potential additional costs.


Preparation is the key to success in anything you do, and shipping your car is no exception. A car is more than just a way to get around. For many people, it’s also a symbol of memories, achievements, and personal freedom. 

Putting its care in the hands of a shipping company is a big choice, but it’s easier to make when you’ve taken all the necessary steps to get it ready for the trip. By taking the above steps, you’re not only making sure that your vehicle’s shipping goes more smoothly, but you’re also giving yourself more peace of mind, knowing that you’ve cleared the way for an easy shipping experience.

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