Did you know the first automobile parade in America was in 1899? Since then, cars have changed in style and price, but the one thing remains constant is our need for them. Many of us would not be able to function without having our car to transport us from place to place. With this in mind, let’s look at this simple car maintenance checklist to keep you on the road.
1.) Tires. A tire inflated to 35 pounds per square inch (psi) can lose one psi every month, so your car checklist needs to include checking tire pressure. Find the recommended level for your car in the owner’s manual or on a sticker on the driver’s side door. Be sure to have your tires rotated every six months to prevent uneven wear.
2.) Engine oil. Changing oil is critical in keeping your engine running efficiently. Follow the manufacture’s guideline for changing oil, which is generally every 3,000 miles or six months.
3.) Battery. A dead battery can quickly keep you off the road. Most car batteries are maintenance free and last more than three years, but trouble starting the engine is the first sign that it needs to be replaced.
4.) Check your fluids. This includes the automatic transmission fluid (ATF), power steering fluid and brake fluid. Follow all manufacturer’s recommendations for change intervals, which vary from 30,000 to 50,000 miles.
5.) Brakes. How often you need to replace your brake pads or other components depends on your driving habit and driving conditions. Warning signs of brake problems include noise, vibration or “grabbing” when you apply the brakes. Working on your brakes is a job best left to professionals.
6.) Air filter. You should change your air filter every 12-15,000 miles. A clean air filter helps your engine “breathe” better and improves gas mileage. For a list of car air filters we sell, look at our Purolator filters to see which one best suit your vehicle.
7.) Windshield wipers. Replace the blades every 6 to 12 months or when the rubber becomes worn. Check the wiper fluid reservoir frequently to keep it full.
8.) Headlights and brake lights. With your car on and parked, have someone walk around and see if your lights are working. This includes headlights, brake and tail lights, turn signals, etc. Replacing bulbs in today’s cars can be a challenge. Have a mechanic do the job.
An eight-step checklist for car maintenance can be all that stands in your way of driving your car or paying for expensive car repairs.