A Simple Vehicle Maintenance Checklist to Keep Your Car Running
Did you know that the average cost of owning a car – including monthly payment, insurance, registration, gas, and maintenance – is approximately $9,000 a year?
Did you know that maintaining your car for 200,000 miles could save you $30,000 over the life of your car?
Proper maintenance and preventative care can help you save money, keep you safe on the road, and increase the longevity of your car.
While your manual will tell you exactly how to take care of your car, here is a handy vehicle maintenance checklist that’s easy to follow and will help you keep your car running smoothly for years to come.
Ten-Point Vehicle Maintenance Checklist
This 10-point vehicle maintenance checklist is a list of items that should be routinely checked in your car. You can easily do it yourself, or ask your mechanic to handle them the next time you’re in for an oil change!
- Tire Pressure and Treads
Maintaining your car’s tire pressure reduces the wear on your tires and also helps you get good gas mileage. Keep a tire gauge handy so you can always check the pressure. (Don’t forget to check your spare!)
You can easily check your tire tread with a simple coin test to check they aren’t too worn or wearing unevenly.
- Replace Your Windshield Wipers Regularly
Worn out windshield wipers interfere with your visibility in poor weather, so keep them clean and replace them regularly. Be sure to pay a little extra attention to their condition during rainy and wintery months.
- Test the Lights
Make sure the headlights, taillights, and turn signals are all working. A burnt-out bulb is a safety issue for your and other drivers on the road. And, it could cost you an expensive ticket!
- Check the Fluids
Check the levels and top up the fluids in your car. If you notice any leaks, get them checked out immediately to avoid engine damage and expensive repairs.
- Change the Oil
Changing the oil according to your manufacturer’s recommended schedule will keep your engine in tip-top condition.
- Spark Plugs
Spark plugs are very important to your engine’s efficiency but they are susceptible to buildup. they should be checked regularly, but especially if you are having issues starting your engine, accelerating, or if you hear a strange ‘popping’ noise coming from the engine.
- Check Belts and Hoses
Take a look at your hoses and belts to see if there’s any cracking, fraying or they appear loose. These are signs they’re wearing out and need to be replaced.
- Change Your Air and Cabin Filters
Clean filters keep dirt, debris, and other pollutants from getting into your engine and inside the car, so make sure they are changed regularly.
- Have Your Brakes Checked
When you’re driving, listen for squealing brakes and pay attention to any shuddering from the brake pedal.
You can measure the width of the brake pads and if they are less than 1/8 inch thick they need to be replaced immediately!
- Wash Your Car
Protecting your car includes washing it regularly to prevent long-term body damage from the elements such as road salt, ice melt, tree sap, and bird droppings.
Check for rust on the body, undercarriage, and under the hood as it can cause serious damage if allowed to spread. If you notice you have a rust problem, take it to a top rated auto body shop and they can help restore your car’s exterior.
Maintain and Save!
Automotive maintenance is key to keeping your car running in top condition and ensuring your safety on the road. Follow the car care tips in this ten-point vehicle maintenance checklist regularly and you’ll be driving your car – and saving money – for years to come!
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