Cars wear down if they’re not taken care of, and this wear and tear can cause expensive repairs or even require you to buy a new car. Extending the lifespan of your vehicle is easy if you follow a regular maintenance schedule. Most cars have a factory advised schedule that can be found in the owner’s manual, but if you’ve bought your car second-hand or don’t have access to the manual, here’s a standard schedule that’ll keep your car running smoothly.
- Check for dashboard lights
- Check headlights/taillights
- Check tire pressure and condition
- Check engine oil
- Check windshield washer fluid levels
Every 3 Months/3,000 Miles:
- Check transmission fluid
- Examine battery and cables
- Check engine oil and filter
- Check other fluids: power steering, windshield washer
- Examine hoses and belts for wear
Every 6 Months/6,000 Miles:
- Check chassis lubrication
- Check wiper blades
Oil changes should occur in accordance with what your owner’s manual says, but averaging your driving usage can let you decide if you need an oil change every 7,500 miles or every 10,000 miles. (The “every 3,000 miles” myth was debunked in the last decade as oil chemistry and engine technology have changed.) Regular oil changes keep your vehicle from suffering lasting damage from your daily driving.
If you don’t have the expertise to know if you’re looking at a worn hose or a cracked belt, then schedule regular tune-ups and oil changes at least once or twice a year to ensure that any developing problems with your vehicle are caught before they turn into costly repairs.