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Car Maintenance Tip 14: Follow The Ultimate Preventative Maintenance Checklist

The thought of car maintenance can be overwhelming for some people, but in reality, it’s quick and easy. A few minutes spent here and there can add years to the life of your car and save loads of stress on you and your wallet.

When you go to the mechanic, always let them know of any problems you are having. It makes our life a lot easier when a customer is able to give us a detailed description of symptoms. This cuts down diagnostic time and saves you money.

Make sure to follow our ultimate preventative maintenance checklist to maximize the potential of your vehicle.


  • Check Engine Light: watch for this and take appropriate action.
  • Windshield Washer Fluid: take off the top of the wiper fluid reservoir and re-fill to the level indicated. While you’re pouring, put some on a rag and clean the bugs and gunk off the wiper blades, too. Remember, use washer fluid only, never water.
  • Tire Pressure: most gas stations have areas where you can check the pressure and inflate your tires. The proper tire pressure for your car can be found on a decal in your car’s doorjamb or in the owner’s manual. The correct tire pressure is NOT on the side of the tire, which is the maximum pressure recommended by the tire manufacturer not your vehicle’s manufacturer.
Preventative maintenance

Every 3 months or 3,000 miles

  • Lube Oil and Filter: check your car’s maintenance manual to see the recommended oil change schedule. Keep in mind that you may see two recommended oil change schedules, one for normal driving and another for severe driving conditions. If you idle excessively, often drive in stop-and-go traffic or in extreme weather conditions, you should consider the severe driving schedule.
  • Power Steering Fluid: check the level of your power steering fluid while checking other fluids under the hood. If you constantly have to refill it, then there probably is a leak.
  • Fuel Filter: check the engine fuel filter at every oil change.
  • Belts: replace engine belts when they show any signs of wear (i.e. cracking, fraying, lots of gravel).
  • Air Filter: have the engine air filter checked every time you have your oil changed – replace if it’s dirty, leaking, torn or water-soaked.
  • Automatic Transmission Fluid: with the engine running and your car in park, raise the hood and check the fluid level. If it is low, add the type of fluid that is recommended in your owner’s manual.
  • Battery & Cables: make sure the connections are tight and do not show any signs of leaking.

Every 6 months or 6,000 miles

  • Brakes: clean and adjust breaks, including the hand break. Also inspect brake fluid condition.
  • Rotate Tires: some tires wear out faster than others, even if they were purchased at the same time
  • Polish: important to maintain the exterior car finish.

Every year or 12,000 miles

  • Scheduled Service Maintenance: perform the vehicles scheduled service maintenance (make sure they check the anti-freeze, spark plugs and suspension). All scheduled services include a complete safety inspection, which could reveal any potential problems your vehicle may have. Also, always make sure to check your maintenance manual which includes a schedule that you should follow religiously.
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