Want to earn an easy $1,000? All you have to do is keep up with your car maintenance.
It’s true. The average driver spends over $1,000 fixing car problems that they could have prevented with regular maintenance. Additionally, neglecting maintenance will drastically shorten the life of your vehicle.
In spite of this, 92% of drivers admittedly procrastinate car maintenance until it’s overdue. On the other hand, there are plenty of drivers who don’t even know how to maintain a car.
But not to worry. We’ll teach you how to take proper care of your car with this checklist. Follow these car maintenance tips to keep your ride looking and feeling brand new.
Check Oil and Fluid Levels
It’s a good idea to check your oil at least once a week. Fill it if it’s low and change it if it’s dirty.
Also, check it before and after long trips. While you’re at it, check transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid, too.
Change the Oil
Additionally, change your oil every 6 months or 3,000 miles. Even if it doesn’t look soiled at this point, it will be too old/used.
Change the Air Filters
Your engine air filter ensures your engine has the clean air it needs to run efficiently. If the filter becomes dirty, it blocks the airflow and reduces your engine’s air supply.
Then, since it has to work harder, it starts using more gas. Check the engine air filter with each oil change and replace it when it’s soiled.
Also, check your cabin air filter every few weeks. A clean cabin air filter allows your AC to run efficiently. This conserves gas, too.
Check The Battery
You should check your car battery about every 6 months. You can usually get it tested for free wherever car batteries are sold.
If you see corrosion on the battery terminals, you should clean them. First, detach the connectors from the terminals.
Scrub off the corrosion with an old toothbrush dipped in a warm water/baking soda solution. Then, wipe it dry.
Rotate Your Tires
Rotate your tires every 5,000-7,500 miles. This reduces wear on the tire tread, which extends tire life and prevents accidents.
Check Tire Pressure
Always check your tire pressure before and after long trips. During long trips, check every time you stop for gas to prevent flats and blowouts.
Check when the seasons change, too, since the air pressure is affected by temperature. Your recommended tire pressure is recorded in your owner’s manual.
Check the Brakes
When you get your tires rotated, check the brake pads and replace them if they’re low. You should also replace them if they squeak when you stop.
Wash Your Car
Protect your car’s paint by keeping it clean. Make sure you only use cleaning products that are approved for automotive use.
Protect Your Paint
You can protect your paint even more by applying a paint protection film. This also makes your car easier to wash. Check this guide to learn more about choosing a paint protection film.
Fix Windshield Chips
Lastly, always repair rock chips in your windshield right away. If you don’t, they’ll become large cracks that spread until your windshield is irreparable.
Don’t Neglect These Car Maintenance Tips
Follow these car maintenance tips to keep your car running and looking like new. Also, bookmark this page so that you don’t forget these essential steps.
Need some more automotive advice? Find all the tips, guides, and checklists you need in our Auto archives.