For preventative maintenance, make it a habit to periodically inspect your vehicle according to the owner’s manual. It’s important to keep your vehicle running efficiently so that you can avoid any potential safety issues. You can also avoid costly vehicle repair needs if you catch something early rather than let it go unnoticed. Generally, your vehicle maintenance checklist should consist of the following:
Once a Month:
Oil Level – Check the oil level on the dipstick with the engine off to see if the oil level is low. If it is low, you will need to refill the oil tank. If you’re not sure how to do this, you can consult a professional who will help you select the proper type of oil for your vehicle.
Washer Fluid Level – Under the hood of your vehicle is a plastic container that contains the fluid for your windshield wipers. If it isn’t full of liquid, you can fill it with a windshield washer solution. During the winter months, you will probably be using more of your washer fluid so be sure to check the level on a regular basis.
Tire Pressure/Wear – Check tire condition and pressure. Do they look low or are there any visible cracks? You need tires that are in good condition so that you can brake and steer properly.
Once Every 3 Months:
Automatic Transmission Fluid – If your vehicle hesitates when your automatic transmission shifts gears, get the transmission fluid level checked. Replacing your transmission fluid according to your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations helps preserve the life of the transmission and helps maintain your vehicle’s warranty.
Brake Fluid – Keep the brake fluid in the master cylinder at the proper level. It’s important to be proactive, but if you think your vehicle leaking brake fluid, don’t drive it, tow it!
Every Six Months:
Windshield Wiper Blades – If your wipers have been making a mess of your windshield, it’s time to replace your windshield wiper blades. The metal blades are a little more expensive than the rubber wiper inserts, but if your old ones look corroded or generally aren’t in good shape, they should be replaced.
Power Steering – Eliminate the moaning and groaning caused by your faulty power steering system by checking and getting your power steering fuel changed. If there isn’t enough fluid, steering becomes more difficult and either the pump or rack and pinion could be damaged without fluid to cushion them.
Remember, this is a general checklist that you can follow to keep up with your vehicle maintenance. If you notice an issue, or feel something isn’t right, don’t hesitate to get your vehicle checked out. It’s never fun to deal with vehicle issues, but it’s part of owning a vehicle. It’s your responsibility to make sure your vehicle is safe to drive at all times.