Depending on the time of year and the season, you should check several things to extend your car’s life and performance. Some auto parts require routine maintenance, while others only require long-term care. Always adhere to the service interval record and maintenance schedule for your car. (Ultimate Essential Car Maintenance and Service Checklist)
Although maintaining and caring for your automobile requires some work, you don’t need to be an expert mechanic to keep it in good working condition. The biggest challenge is knowing what has to be done and how frequently for the best car maintenance. You can ensure that your automobile is in top operating shape by understanding the fundamentals of what it requires and when you should undertake periodic car maintenance.
Additionally, if you can demonstrate that your car has been well-kept, you’ll be able to demand the top price when it comes time to sell it. And, of course, it’s crucial to remember that, although not always inexpensive, auto maintenance fees might eventually save you from having to make costly repairs.
We’ve developed a straightforward, printable automobile maintenance checklist to make it easier for you to stay on top of your automotive maintenance.
# SHORT TERM CHECK-UPS
OIL AND COOLANT LEVELS
It’s a good idea to check your car’s oil and coolant levels while the engine is still cold once a month, or every few gas fill-ups, especially before any long road trips. Leaving either of them at low levels might cause engine issues. To find both on your particular car, consult your owner’s handbook.
Your engine’s air filter regulates the air that flows into your machine and helps keep out debris and particulates. By ensuring that your air filter is flowing correctly, you can improve your fuel efficiency, decrease your emissions, and help ensure the life of your engine. This can be done quickly at home, so check your owner’s manual for instructions and how often it needs to be changed.
TIRE PRESSURE AND TREAD DEPTH
Make it a routine to frequently visually examine your tires because well-maintained tires are essential to a safe, fuel-efficient trip. Before lengthy excursions or carrying heavy weight every month, check the tire pressure. Remember to bring the spare. You’ll need a tire pressure gauge to check your tires’ pressure. Additionally, keep in mind that tire pressure decreases by one pound for every 10 degrees during the colder months. You can find the recommended air pressure for your tire in your owner’s handbook. Using the straightforward penny technique, you can determine your tread depth.
HEADLIGHTS, TURN SIGNALS, BRAKE, AND PARKING LIGHTS
Although your car’s lights must be working correctly, it’s frequently simple to forget this. When you’re parked in front of a level surface once a month, turn on your headlights to ensure they’re both on and in the right places. Visually check your turn signals and parking lights as you circle your automobile. To ensure your brake lights are on, have a friend stand behind the car as you use the brakes.
OIL & FILTER – Ultimate Essential Car Maintenance and Service Checklist
The motor oil in your car’s engine performs many tasks, including lubricating moving parts, protecting against debris, cooling the engine, minimising wear and tear, and preventing corrosion. For the engine to remain healthy, cleaning is essential. You may need to replace the oil and oil filter as frequently as every three months or three thousand miles, depending on your vehicle and the oil you’re using. The owners’ manuals of many contemporary vehicles will advise you to change your oil less regularly, typically every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. To be sure what is suitable for your car, check the owner’s handbook and speak with a specialist.
The tread wear patterns on your tires might differ between the front and back tires, or even from one side of the tread to the other, depending on your vehicle’s alignment, usage, and many other factors. By more uniformly distributing tread wear and assisting in the prevention of noise and vibration issues, rotating your tires can help increase your tires’ useful life.
Waxing your car after washing it will not only keep it bright but will also assist in maintaining the paint’s quality and lower the likelihood of corrosion. Waxing may help limit this by creating a protective coating to lengthen the life of your colour. Many irritants, such as dust, sand, and salt, can accumulate, and environmental elements, such as ozone and UV radiation, can cause microscopic damage.
# LONG TERM CHECK-UPS
Gearbox fluid is a lubricant that aids in maintaining the proper operation of all the moving components inside your transmission, much like the oil in your engine. To prevent expensive transmission repair or replacement, it is crucial to have your transmission fluid tested and replaced as necessary, whether you drive an automatic or manual transmission car. Observe the advice from the car manufacturer.
TRANSFER CASE FLUID – Ultimate Essential Car Maintenance and Service Checklist
The transfer case is responsible for transferring power from the transmission to the axles in four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles. To ensure that the transfer case fluid is correctly topped up and free of leaks, you should have it examined in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines. You will need to climb under the car to do this; therefore, having a professional handle is advised.
INSPECT SHOCKS AND STRUTS
Your car’s shocks and struts play a crucial role in the steering system by controlling the impact and rebound when your vehicle travels over road bumps. Every 50,000 miles, they should be examined by a specialist; if you feel a decrease in smoothness or loss of control while driving, take your automobile to the shop.
COOLANT FLUID EXCHANGE
Your car’s radiator is an important part that keeps your engine cool and working correctly. Regular coolant system flushing can assist remove pollutants that may amass within and ensure that your radiator is topped up to the right amount. See the car manufacturer’s recommendations to determine how frequently your coolant should be replaced.
The spark plugs in your engine ignite the gas and air combination that eventually drives your car. Your engine will lose power and won’t operate as efficiently if your spark plugs aren’t working correctly. Depending on the car manufacturer’s recommendations or when you notice a decline in your engine’s power, have a professional inspect your spark plugs and replace any defective ones.
SERPENTINE BELT – Ultimate Essential Car Maintenance and Service Checklist
Although it may appear to be a simple piece of rubber, your car’s serpentine belt powers auxiliary components like your alternator, power steering pump, and air conditioner compressor. Check the belt visually to ensure no cracks or other signs of wear and strain. If damaged or as recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer, replace it.
FRONT AND REAR DIFFERENTIAL
The differentials are components that divide the engine’s torque or power and enable it to be sent to the tires. In cars with front- or rear-wheel drive, there is only one differential; however, in 4-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles, there may also be a central differential. Like many other components, the differentials in your car require regular lubrication to operate correctly. When your vehicle’s maker suggests it, have a professional check and replace the fluid.
The needs of your vehicle can vary by season and driving conditions. Following are a few suggestions to add to the notes section of your vehicle maintenance checklist:
REPLACE WINDSHIELD WIPERS
Generally speaking, windshield wipers must be replaced once a year or anytime their efficacy is affected. Installing winter wiper blades for maximum efficiency throughout the winter might also be a smart move. It would help if you also pulled your wipers away from the window to avoid ice formation when parked in the winter.
BATTERY PERFORMANCE CHECK
One of the most crucial parts for your automobile to operate is the battery. The starter, engine, and other electronic components in a car are all powered by a car battery, which provides a lot of electrical currents. Regular battery testing guarantees that the battery will function when you need it to because extreme temperatures impact its performance.
CHANGE TIRES – Ultimate Essential Car Maintenance and Service Checklist
You may wish to convert to a winter or snow tire during the chilly, snowy months, depending on where you reside and the possible winter driving conditions you may experience. The tire compounds in non-winter tires harden as the temperature persistently falls to or below freezing, which reduces grip and handling performance while lengthening stopping distance. Winter tires contain tread designs and materials made to stay flexible in the cold and offer traction in icy, snowy, and slushy driving situations.
CHECK COOLANT LEVELS
To prevent freezing your radiator or engine components, it’s also crucial to monitor the antifreeze levels in your radiator throughout the winter. Antifreeze and water should generally be mixed 50/50, but to be sure, consult your owner’s handbook or a specialist.
Conclusion – Ultimate Essential Car Maintenance and Service Checklist
Sticking to a car maintenance schedule, and keeping good records of what you’ve done, can help extend the life of your vehicle and protect you against breakdowns, expensive repairs, and other unwelcome surprises. Stay tuned to Auto Tech Portal for more automobile-related content.