Keeping up with your vehicle’s maintenance is important, but the number of service reminders in your vehicle’s owner’s manual can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are a few main items, which if you remember to keep up with, should keep your car operating safely.
- Change your oil. Oil keeps your engine’s parts rotating smoothly, and your car can’t run without enough oil. Most vehicles can go 5,000 to 10,000 miles between oil changes, but consult your owner’s manual to determine how long yours will last. It’s best to check your oil level once every month, and check other fluids as well.
Proper maintenance will extend the life of your vehicle and prevent costly repairs, while keeping your car safer to drive. We’ve put together a car maintenance checklist to ensure your car stays running as long as possible.
- Check your tire pressure. A tire pressure gauge is an affordable, easy-to-use tool that can help you prevent pulling over with a flat tire. Tires without enough air can cause blowouts or accidents. Keeping your tires in shape begins with checking the air pressure, and this task should be completed at least once per month. Then, every 6,000 to 8,000 miles, get your tires rotated for longer tread life. Be sure to check the alignment to avoid uneven tread wear.
- Change your brake pads. Don’t wait for the screeching or grating sound to tell you that your brake pads are too old. The rate at which brake pads need to be changed is based on a variety of factors including your driving style (if you live in an area with a lot of stop and go traffic or numerous hills, you’ll use your brakes more often and wear them out quicker), the weight of your vehicle, and the condition of your brake rotors.
- Replace your windshield wipers. Wipers are fairly inexpensive compared to other car maintenance items and are easy to replace yourself. Your visibility is important, so don’t wait until you can barely see through your windshield to make a change. If you notice your wipers aren’t performing like they used to, don’t wait until you’re stuck in a downpour and the wipers place you in a dangerous and unsafe position. This is a simple and affordable fix.
- Check your lights – headlights, brake lights, turn signals, reverse lights, etc. Lights let other vehicles on the road know what you are doing, so a light out on your car could increase your chance of an accident. Manually test each light to check and verify that they’re working properly. You can also get a ticket for having a light out, which everyone wants to avoid. Take the car to a professional when a bulb is out to determine whether you need a new bulb or a fuse has broken.
Remember: taking the time to quickly check these items each month, and completing regular preventive maintenance on your vehicle can save you money on future repairs. Regular checkups on other car-care and preventative maintenance tasks ensures you get the most life from your vehicle. Provide your car with total maintenance and don’t forget to reference this checklist once every month. The longer you drive and the higher the miles climb, the more often you should conduct these quick maintenance tasks.
While you’re going through the vehicle maintenance checklist, you might notice that your auto glass needs fixing due to a chip or crack. Schedule an appointment with Safelite and we’ll quickly patch up any damaged windshield or side car window, getting you back on the road safely.