Not sure what exactly you need to do to keep your car well maintained? Read on for a car maintenance checklist that will solve all your car related issues!
We all want our car to be clean, smooth and presentable, and for that it is necessary that it is maintained. Every month we go for our car’s maintenance but somehow end up forgetting about one issue or the other. This can be very frustrating.
If you have a car maintenance checklist, and follow it monthly, you will be ensuring the good health of your car and engine in the long term and also be preventing from expensive repairs. The checklist can include maintenance tasks that you may want to carry out every month, every six months or once a year. That is completely up to you. However, ensure that your checklist includes maintenance of factors like the coolants, oils, drivetrain, etc.
This is why you should have a car maintenance checklist. Not only will this checklist cover all the important aspects that should be covered to ensure the health of your car, it also comes in handy so that you don’t forget about the tasks.
Also another thing to remember while creating a car maintenance checklist is to familiarize yourself with your car’s owner’s manual. Every car is different and has different maintenance requirements. You must ensure that you are carrying out tasks that are appropriate for your car or the maintenance may end up having adverse consequences.
Following are examples of some key things that you MUST have in your car maintenance list. You can add or subtract things according to your requirements;
Oils and coolants
For good health of your car, get your oil and coolants checkup every month. You should also get these checked before a long road trip. This is important because if the oil or coolant levels go low, they can cause issues in the engine and you may even end up with a seized engine!
Most people don’t give much heed to tires but good and maintained tires are necessary for a safe ride! You should get your tire pressure and depth checked every month. Check for any punctures especially before a road trip to a hilly area. Also, never forget about the spare tire!
You must always have a spare tire in your car and even that should be maintained every month regardless of its usage. So every month, get the pressure and depth of all your tires checked.
The air filters in your engine is what manages the air flow in the engine and prevents the entry of debris or particulate in your car. To ensure your engine’s long life and fuel efficiency, it is necessary that you keep a check on your air filters. You can even do this at home.
This includes all lights including your headlights, parking lights, brake lights and indicators. This can be easily overlooked as they don’t usually top working that easily. But for the safe side, it is always better to keep a check.
Ensure that your headlights haven’t dimmed and are working properly on both low and high beam. Also check if your indicators are functioning along with your parking lights. Brake lights are also very important to prevent accidents so take a walk around your car and note if your brake lights are operating correctly or not.
After a car wash, always get your car waxed. You can do this once in 6 months. This not only gives your car a shiny and glossy look, it also helps retaining the paint and prevents it from rusting. Germs, dust, salt and other environmental factors can damage your car’s exterior. Waxing minimizes this damage by creating a protective layer around the car. So make sure to add this in your car maintenance list.
For lubrication, engine cooling and prevention of engine corrosion, it is important to ensure that the motor oil of your car is clean and enough. This is great for your engine’s health.
Make sure you keep your engine working by changing your engine oil and its filter every few months. You can also record this according to the miles your car has been driver after every oil change. The duration of your oil change and the oil may vary according to your vehicle so make sure you’re using the right oil.
The serpentine belt
The serpentine belt in your car is important to keep your car functioning as it powers devices like the power steering pimp, AC compressor, etc. Every now and then check to see if there are any cracks on the belt and if its free of any wear and tear. If there are any cracks, do replace it.
This is a seasonal maintenance task on your car maintenance checklist. One a year, just check to see if your windshield wipers are working okay, especially before the winter or monsoon seasons. Ineffective wipers may cause issues while driving during the rain so make sure they’re operating well.
Battery check up
This is one of the most important checkups as the battery is a huge role player in your car. Test your battery every now and then to check its performance and keep a check on the battery’s water as well. You should especially ensure the good health of your car’s battery in summers.
You can even do this yourself at home. Usually the spark plugs are replaced after 30,000 muiles or so. However, this may vary according to your vehicle. You can choose to get this done from a professional mechanic or do this at home by following any tutorial. You can also follow this tutorial if you want to change your spark plugs at home:
Ensure that there is water in your radiator at all times. If not, this can heat up your vehicle and risk the health of your engine in the long run. You can check this weekly or monthly depending on your vehicle and its condition. You should also do a radiator flush once in one or two years.
Rotate or Change Tires
Apart from checking the pressure and depth it is also important to keep a check on your tires and know if they need a replacement. There are various ways to know if your tires need a replacement. There is one strategy called “the toonie test” through which you can check the depth of your tires. You can check out how to carry that test here:
All the things mentioned above are those that MUST be in your car maintenance checklist. The duration of these may differ according to your vehicle’s needs. You can also add other things to list if you like or use the same list whenever you go for the maintenance of your car.
You can also check this Youtube video for more things to keep in mind while creating your own car maintenance checklist.