A Regular Car Maintenance Checklist
Keeping your car in great shape is vital to avoid auto repairs. When the average repair cost in the United States is $500, you may not be able to afford to neglect your car and let problems fester.
But you can avoid those repairs by taking care of your car. Maintenance will go a long way toward keeping things in great shape and avoiding more costly repairs.
With how much more life you can get out of your car with regular car maintenance, you can’t afford to avoid doing it. Below are the common auto maintenance tasks you must do each year.
Change Your Oil
Changing your oil is one of the most essential parts of running a car. Your oil helps keep the parts of your vehicle moving smoothly. If you have low or old oil, that’s much harder to do.
When you don’t have enough oil, it makes it harder for the parts of your car to operate efficiently. Over time, this can lead to your car working too hard and suffering from other issues.
Your manual will contain information about how long you should go between oil changes. It’s usually after a certain number of months or miles driven.
Your tires don’t have an unlimited life span. As you use them on the road and when they sit in a driveway, they will wear down over time. This can be because of lowering air pressure and the destruction of the tire treads.
Driving on poor-quality tires is a significant hazard. When your tire pressure is low, you risk busting a tire and getting into an accident. The same thing is true with bad treads — with the added risk of not being able to get traction on the road.
The first thing to check is your tire pressure. You can refill it yourself or at a gas station if it’s low.
If your tire treads are going bad, it’s time to get new tires. You’ll need to head to an auto mechanic to get the job done.
Tire Alignment and Rotation
As time passes, your tires will get pushed out of the proper position. You see this when you’re driving when your car pulls into a specific direction and requires you to constantly make minor adjustments to stay in your lane.
This happens when you drive in rough conditions. Bumpy roads cause your tires to become misaligned.
If you fail to rotate your tires, your tread wear will also be focused on one part of your tires. This can cause them to wear down quicker and result in a new pair of tires earlier than expected.
Regularly aligning and rotating your tires solves these problems. It will help you get more use out of your tires and make driving easier.
Watch Your Brakes
Your brakes won’t last forever. No, they won’t go bad immediately. But as you continue to use them over the years, they will eventually degrade in quality.
It’s essential to monitor your brakes over time to look for problems. Try to monitor how your brakes feel and if they perform like when you first purchased your car.
It may be time to get your brakes looked at if things look bad. An auto repair shop will check your brake fluid, linings, brake pads, and rotors and fix any problems they find.
Check the Lights
Your car lights are something you don’t always notice when something goes wrong. This is especially true with your rear lights — where you can’t see if a light is dead unless you are behind your car.
It’s important to check these things to make sure they are working. You rely on them to signal other drivers about your intentions. If they don’t work, it can cause problems on the road.
Luckily, they aren’t hard to check on. Keep your car in park and put on your signals. If you have help, have them use the brakes while you check the rear of your car.
If you notice a dead light, buy a replacement and install it on your car.
Inspect the Battery
Batteries can degrade in quality over time. With regular use, your battery can hold less of a charge and may start degrading depending on your car’s condition.
Regularly check your battery to look for these issues. Leaving your battery leads dirty can lead to cracks and eventually lead to your battery not working.
While buying a replacement battery is easy, a simple cleaning now and again will stop you from wasting more cash than necessary.
Get a Regular Tune-Up
If you don’t have much time to handle many of these car maintenance tasks yourself, that doesn’t mean you’re out of options. Many auto maintenance shops will take care of all these things for you.
A tune-up will take a big-picture look at your car. The mechanic will look at the old and worn-out parts and replace them with new ones to help them run more efficiently.
Your tune-up mechanic will also replace all the fluids in your car if necessary. This includes oil, coolant, windshield wiper fluid, and others.
Visit this auto repair shop to learn more about getting regular work done on your car.
Always Perform Regular Car Maintenance
Your car can go far on its own. Even without regular maintenance, it will likely keep working for years without a problem — but without regular car maintenance, the car lifespan you see will be greatly reduced and likely lead to you purchasing a new vehicle far sooner than you expected.
That’s why it’s so important to do regular car maintenance over the years. Remember the common tactics car owners can use to maintain their cars and put them in place to get the most life out of your vehicle.
Do you want to learn more helpful tips for handling other common life situations? Check out more of the guides on the blog to learn more.