We know that auto maintenance can feel like a nuisance (yet another task to add to your to-do list!), and the rewards are not always immediately apparent. However, keeping track of your car’s condition and scheduling regular preventative maintenance is probably the best thing a car owner can do to extend the life of their car, save money on future repairs, and prevent dangerous mechanical failures. As a matter of fact, spending a little money on maintenance now could save you thousands in the future. No joke! Plus, it can help you avoid a terrible fate: getting stuck in the middle of nowhere with a broken-down car. To get started, review the preventative auto maintenance checklist below.
Cars are complex, so it should come as no surprise that they must undergo a variety of maintenance to stay safe and healthy. Juggling all of these tasks can be tricky if you’re not organized, so it’s important that you keep track of your vehicle’s maintenance, whether you use handwritten notes, an Excel document, or even a handy app on your phone. Be sure to keep an eye on your vehicle’s mileage as well, so that you know when to schedule your next appointment. Got it? Good. Now let’s review the list…
Preventative Auto Maintenance Checklist
- Check that your headlights, brake lights, and turn signals are working properly.
- Check the air pressure in your tires, and add more when needed.
- Check your fluid levels (antifreeze, power steering, coolant, wiper fluid), and add more when needed.
- Inspect your timing and serpentine belts, and replace when necessary.
- Be sure all hoses are tightly fastened and undamaged.
- Inspect your oil, looking for telling changes (muddiness, murkiness, etc).
- Change your oil regularly.
- Inspect brakes to be sure they are not worn or wearing unevenly.
- Check your battery for corrosion and clean the contacts.
- Replace your windshield wipers if they are worn or leave streaks.
- Inspect your exhaust pipe and system for cracks or holes.
- Replace your cabin air filter.
- Inspect the fuel pressure regulator.
- Schedule a radiator flush.
- Replace your engine air filter.
- Have your tires rotated and balanced.
- Have the alignment of your tires checked and adjusted.
- Be sure your spark plug wires are firmly connected.
- Change your spark plugs.
- Replace your brake pads.
This checklist is a great place to get started, but you should also consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual and ask your mechanic for advice. Your owner’s manual will be especially helpful in giving you specific information regarding your vehicle’s mechanics and how often they need to be inspected, replaced, cleaned, etc. And your mechanic can provide additional guidance and explain why each preventative maintenance task is necessary.
Speaking of which, are you looking for a new mechanic? If you’re located in Springfield (MO) or northwest Arkansas, give ASE-certified Seeburg Service Center a call. Although we specialize in mufflers and exhaust system repairs, we also perform a variety of auto repairs and maintenance, including oil changes, alignments, and brake repairs. Our experienced, knowledgeable, and friendly mechanics will work hard to get you back on the road ASAP. To get started, please contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!