You always hear that paying attention to automotive preventive maintenance can make a big difference in how your car operates now and into the future. It can extend the life of your car, but did you know that it may also help save your life, too? According to recent studies, 5 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities are clearly caused by automobile maintenance neglect. The following simple and inexpensive preventive checks will greatly extend the life of the vehicle, ensure safer operation and even benefit the environment. We offer the checklist as a starting point; we encourage you to consult with our expert auto repair technicians to have them check your car. It is important to always have a technician review anything you believe is wrong. The technician will be familiar with your car’s specific needs, which can often head off future problems.
Always consult your owner’s manual for individual service schedules because maintenance requirements vary by manufacturer.
- Always consult your owner’s manual, but a good rule of thumb is to have the oil filter changed regularly – every 3,000 to 4,000 miles.
- Have all fluids checked, including brake, power steering, transmission/transaxle, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze. These fluids play a large role in the safety and performance of the vehicle.
- Check tire inflation. Under-inflated tires can result in a loss of fuel efficiency. This is the least expensive form of preventive and safety maintenance. Tires should be checked once a month.
- Keep your engine tuned. A fouled spark plug or plugged/restricted fuel injector can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent.
- Have the chassis lubricated frequently. This step extends the life of the moving components of the vehicle’s suspension system.
- Check battery cables and posts for corrosion and clean them as needed. The battery fluid also should be checked and filled if it is low, unless it is a maintenance-free battery.
- Have the lighting system checked frequently, including headlights, turn signals, and brake and taillights.
- Check windshield washer blades for cracks, tears and windshield contact. Replace them at least once a year, or sooner if streaking begins.
- Inspect engine belts regularly. Worn belts will affect the engine performance. Look for cracks and missing sections or segments.
- Have the air filtration system checked frequently. The air filter should be checked every other oil change for clogging or damage. This system ensures that the vehicle is performing at its peak condition.
Service Interval Schedule
|Vehicle System or Component||Check Monthly||Check Every 3,000 Miles|
|Automatic Transmission Fluid|
|Battery and Cables|
|Brakes and Brake Fluid|
|Cabin Air Filter|
|Check Engine Light On|
|Engine Air Filter|
|Power Steering Fluid|
|Shock Absorbers and Struts|
|Tire Inflation and Condition|
|Windshield Washer Fluid|
According to recent studies, 5 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities are clearly caused by automobile maintenance neglect. The following simple and inexpensive preventive checks will greatly extend the life of the vehicle, ensure safer operation and even benefit the environment.