Essential Auto Maintenance Checklist Keeping Your Vehicle in Top Shape
Performing routine car maintenance helps extend the life of your vehicle and preserves its resale value. It also reduces the likelihood of roadside emergencies and saves you money in the long run.
Check the oil and coolant levels regularly and top off as needed. Keep an eye out for leaks, especially those involving the serpentine belt. This critical component is often overlooked and could fail while driving.
Whether it’s an oil change, checking the coolant or replacing your brake pads, these basic car maintenance tasks keep you safe and minimize costly repairs down the road.
Follow your vehicle’s owner manual to determine the best schedule for your engine type and driving style. Always use the correct oil for your make and model. Check the coolant level and condition on a regular basis.
If you’ve ever driven with a flat or poorly performing tire, you know the difference it can make to your vehicle’s handling and ride quality. It also puts your safety at risk.
Inspect your tires on a regular basis for tread depth, balance and alignment. Also, check the air pressure on a monthly basis. The proper PSI is essential to your tire’s performance.
Brakes are one of the most important components of your vehicle. Regular maintenance can help to ensure optimal braking function, reducing driving risks.
Look for signs of a brake problem such as a soft or slow pedal, or a spongy feel. Also, make sure the master cylinder is clean and that the brake fluid is at the correct level. Lubricating the calipers is another great maintenance task that should be done frequently.
A faulty suspension system can cause a jarring ride and excessive wear and tear on other parts of your vehicle, such as the tires, brakes, and wheels. Regular upkeep will guarantee a smooth and comfortable ride and save you from costly repairs or replacements in the future.
Common signs of a failing suspension include rattling when driving over speed bumps, potholes or rough patches of road. You may also notice a lowered corner of the vehicle.
Car cooling systems help keep engine components at the right temperature. Any sign of overheating is a problem that should be addressed.
It’s important to flush and refill the cooling system regularly with antifreeze instead of water. It’s also a good idea to visually check the coolant level in the overflow tank (don’t remove the cap, it’s pressurized and you could get scalded). Check the hoses for swelling or cracking.
The electrical system is responsible for everything from starting the car to turning on the radio. If the fuse panel or drive belt are showing signs of trouble, it’s important to get a repair done as soon as possible.
A malfunctioning electrical system may lead to costly repairs down the road. Getting regular car electrical services can help prevent these issues from occurring.
There are many warning signs that you should look out for on your vehicle, like the Check Engine light flashing or a shaky steering wheel. However, one of the easiest and most affordable things you can do is consistently monitor your tire pressure.
You can find the ideal psi on the placard on your driver’s side door jamb or in your owner’s manual.
It’s important to check your windshield wiper blades regularly. A simple cleaning with a damp cloth can prevent dirt, grime, and rust from damaging the rubber blades and the wiper arm. Lubricating the pivot points with a silicone lubricant can also help prevent squeaking and improve performance.
Wiper blades wear out with use and may need to be replaced. Check them for signs of deterioration such as streaking and skipping, and replace them immediately to ensure optimal visibility in inclement weather conditions.
Preventative maintenance saves you money, reduces the chance of roadside emergencies, increases your vehicle’s resale value and gives you peace of mind. The best part is that it’s not hard to do.
Rogers recommends keeping a calibrated tire pressure gauge in your truck as well as testing your high beam, brake, back up and turn signals monthly. Check your wiper blades regularly too.
Vehicle maintenance improves safety, lowers repair costs, and enhances resale value. Performing routine car checks and following a maintenance log will help you catch problems early on.
Oil lubricates vital engine components, reducing friction and preventing overheating. Inspect the air filter and coolant level; if fluid levels are low, top them up. Also, inspect for burnt-out bulbs and replace windshield wipers.