If you want your car to last for years, you need to follow a car maintenance schedule. Maintaining your vehicle could keep it on the road for 200,000 miles or more, saving you a great deal of money. Follow this car maintenance checklist to get the most out of your vehicle.
1. Read (and Follow) the Owner’s Manual
Your owner’s manual includes everything from an oil change schedule to when you need to replace the timing belt. Each vehicle is unique, so read the manual so you can create a plan for your car. Then follow that schedule closely.
2. Maintain the Tires
Your tires are an essential part of basic car maintenance. Check your tire pressure at least once a month. If your tire pressure is low, inflate them to the recommended levels. Also, rotate your tires as needed. Typically, every 5,000-10,000 miles.
3. Change the Oil as Needed
Your owner’s manual will state how often you should change the oil. If you are handy, you can change your oil yourself. Make sure you drain and dispose of the old oil property, though. Many people prefer to take it to an oil change center or even the dealership to get this done since its relatively inexpensive.
4. Change the Air Filter
The air filter is something people often forget when it comes to vehicle maintenance. You should visually inspect the filter at least once a year. If it is dirty, replace it. You can do this yourself or ask the technician to check your filter and change it during the oil change.
5. Inspect the Belts and Hoses
If you know your way around a vehicle, you can inspect the belts and hoses yourself. A fast visual inspection will allow you to catch problems before they lead to a breakdown. If you aren’t comfortable inspecting the belts and hoses, ask the technician to do it for you during your oil change.
6. Check the Fluid Levels
You also need to check the fluid levels in your vehicle. Regularly check the coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and windshield washer fluid. If a fluid is continuously low, you likely have a leak that needs to be addressed.
7. Don’t Try to Save Money on Parts
Resist the urge to save money on auto parts and fluids. Using the wrong part or fluid could void your warranty. It could also reduce your vehicle’s reliability and lead to expensive repairs. Using high-quality auto parts and fluids can save you money in the long run, so choose wisely.
8. Take Your Vehicle to a Professional Mechanic as Needed
You can handle many of the basic car maintenance tasks yourself. However, if your check engine light comes on or you need to replace a core component such as the wheel bearings or alternator, it’s a good idea to take it to the shop.
Protect Your Vehicle With This Maintenance Checklist
These eight car maintenance tips will help you protect your vehicle. Stick to a schedule so your car can last for over a decade. You can also protect yourself with car insurance. The right insurance policy will help you get the repairs you need if you’re in an accident, even if you’re at fault. Contact a licensed insurance agent to learn more about your options.
You could save up to 30%* on your car insurance with Freeway. Don’t wait any longer to get the protection you need at a price you can afford. Start your free car insurance quote online, over the phone, or at one of our offices near you.