To get your car on a great maintenance schedule, there are 10 very important routines to follow. It is a good idea to document when they are do to occur again so that you don’t overlook them.
The oil in your vehicle should be checked on a regular basis to make sure it is at the right level. You need to change it every 3,000 miles or every 3 months. Make sure you always change the oil filter too at each oil change session. Running your oil too long causes it to break down. It also increases the amount of friction between the moving parts. These parts include the cam shaft and crank shaft, bearings, valve guides, and piston rings. As a result the life expectancy of your engine will be significantly reduced.
Your tires should be inspected for uneven wear patterns and incorrect tire pressure frequently. Get into the habit of rotating your tires approximately every 5,000 miles. Keep track of which tires you move where too so that they will eventually all be on each location of the vehicle. Keeping your car well aligned will also help to keep your tires in good condition.
Your brake pads and shoes should be checked periodically. If you run them too long you will allow the brake pad material to wear off completely. This will allow metal to metal contact on those surfaces. Then you will have to replace the brakes and other parts in addition. These parts may not have needed to be replaced if the brakes weren’t run so long before being inspected and replaced.
Check to make sure all of your lights are operating like they should be. This includes your turn signals, brake lights, tail lights, and headlights. You need to make sure they all work properly so that you don’t get into an accident. If you have to stop suddenly or change lanes other drivers won’t be able to know your next move if those lights aren’t working like they should be.
You need to make sure your coolant level is full so that your vehicle won’t overheat. Most manufacturers recommend that the coolant be flushed at certain intervals so look at your owner’s manual for those details. Your coolant is also a lubricant for the water pump so it is very important you check the levels on a regular basis.
There are many hoses that belong to your engine, and they all need to be checked. Look for signs of wear or them rubbing on other areas of the engine. They can get cracked due to the weather so replace them before they start to leak. Make sure all of the clamps are tight on them too.
Test your battery to make sure it is holding a charge. You need to make sure your cables are tight too. It is a good idea to check them when you change your oil. Keep an eye on the date of your battery too so you can replace it before it leaves you stranded.
Change the belts on your car at the first sign of wear or dry rot. If a belt fails you may be left without air conditioning or a dead battery due to the alternator not having a belt to provide power.
Check your owner’s manual to find out the recommended life of your fuel filter. You want to change it accordingly to prevent vapor locking from occurring with your vehicle. A clean fuel filter also allows your vehicle to operate more efficiently.
Transmission and Other Gear Box Fluids
The owner’s manual should state the life expectancy of the fluids in your transmission and gear box. It should also tell you what types of fluids that you should use to fill them with. Make sure you pay close attention to the capacity for them too as you don’t want to overfill.