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  • Monthly
    • Tire Pressure Depending on the weather, tires will either expand or contract, so check their pressure and add air if necessary.
    • Tires Look for things like uneven tread wear, thin spots or bulges and do something about them, quickly.
    • Belts Every car has belts that should be checked on a regular basis, to check for fraying and breakage.
    • Hoses Sometimes hoses will burst, become brittle or rot, so check them on a monthly basis.
    • Antifreeze Also called coolant, check the level and add to it if it’s low.
    • Air Filter Check this and if needed, replace.
  • Every Three Months
    • Oil Changes Without regular oil changes, the car engine can be negatively affected in many ways, so do this every 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first.
    • Batteries Check and clean the terminals and cables if they are corroded.
    • Brake Fluid Brakes do have a fluid level, so check it, and add to it if necessary.
    • Steering Fluid Again, a simple, easy thing to do; add to it if it’s low.
    • Transmission Fluid One of the most important things to keep your car running, be sure to keep this at the proper level.
    • Windshield Washer Fluid Seeing out of the window so that you don’t wreck is important, so keep this filled up in case of bugs, muddy rain or other problems.
  • Every Six Months
    • Brakes Note if they are starting to slip, or show any signs being worn down.
    • Brake Lights Ensure that these can be seen at any time of day, by anyone.
    • Exhaust Look for visible holes, cracks, or parts that are not tight.
    • Headlights Double-check that the brightness, both standard and bright levels, are actually correct.
    • Horn. Does it work correctly, or does it need some help?
    • Shock Absorber Determine whether there are any leaks, visible damage, or if they are too loose.
    • Spare Tire First, ensure that there is a spare; then, double-check that the spare is correctly inflated for use, if it is needed.
    • Turn Signals Ensure that the lights work on the inside, and the outside of the vehicle.
    • Wiper Blades. These do wear out, tear apart, and even rot, so replace them regularly
  • Yearly
    • Tuneup Going through the car, system by system to make sure each one is working properly will save you money in the long run.
    • Seasonally Check the AC in the spring, and the heat in the fall.
    • Alignment / Rotation Have your tires rotated and the steering aligned yearly.
  • Every Five Years
    • Battery Consider replacing the battery, if it hasn’t already been done.
    • Electrical If electrical components in the car itself don’t work correctly, this will effect the battery, and the entire car, so have it completely checked out.
    • Air conditioning While even the best air conditioners work for a long time, they still need to be re-done occasionally.
    • Radiators Tied into keeping the car cool, along with the air conditioning, radiators do need a torough going over, and occasional replacing.

Coming up with a car service checklist for your own personal use is not hard. And doing it on your own, rather than relying on a repair shop, saves you money. In addition to maintaining your car for as long as possible, a well-oiled machine will also keep you safe. Protect your vehicle and yourself by performing regular maintenance.

Tips

  • Weather will impact your service in a couple ways.
    • Tire pressure. Because of the changes in heat and cold, tires expand and contract, causing them to possibly lose air. It’s even more critical to regularly check the pressure during extreme weather changes.
    • ¬†Antifreeze. Since this helps to maintain the heating and cooling units, it’s critical during extreme weather.
Car Service Checklist
  Taylor Peterson


on December 25, 2011

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