The Busy Car Owner’s Car Maintenance Checklist
They say that part of owning something means having to take care of that specific “something”. That’s why when you were younger as soon as you got home from the pet shop you were taught how to feed your pet and how to look and clean after it.
When you get your first car, you are also thrust the responsibility of making sure the car is in tip-top shape. If you have a brand new car, this can be quite easy as you just need to do the regular maintenance visits every few weeks.
However, if you have an older car or if your new car reaches 3-5 years of age, you need to keep an eye on a lot of things. While taking them to the shop for a check is still the best course of action, it’s not a realistic choice for people who are in a budget.
Prevention is Always Better Than Cure
Ask any mechanic out there and they they will always tell you that the price we pay for maintenance is nothing compared to what we are going to spend when our car breaks down. However, mechanics themselves know that basic checks and maintenance can be done at home. It’s easy, cheap, and can give you the peace of mind you need before getting inside your car.
That’s why he have created this simple checklist for both newbies and enthusiasts alike. This checklist will cover everything that you need to check on your car to make sure there are no problems. Any issues you see might be a cause for alarm and can be a good reason for you to go and visit a mechanic.
Car Maintenance Checklist
- Tire pressure and condition- It’s always good to start with the outside before you pop open the hood. Check your tire pressure before you go. You don’t really have to go and get a pressure gauge to see if it is really on the right pressure. Just do a visual check and go visit a tire center in case it needs a little bit more air. Also, do a monthly condition check on your tires. Are the treads worn out? Maybe you need to have them replace. Does one side seem to be get more used than the other? If so, it might be time to have your wheels balanced.
- Lights - Nobody wants to drive blind especially when conditions are not the best. Checking your car lights should be second on your list. First, go and check the headlights if they are working. Make sure you see a difference between the high and low setting. Next, check the brake lights. The brake lights tell the car behind you that you are slowing down. Lastly, check if all your signal lights are working as intended. Check the front and back signals to see if they blink when you move the turn signal knob.
- Leaks - Leave your car parked overnight and move it the next morning, do you see a puddle of oil or marks of any liquid on the ground where your car was parked. If so, you might have a leak. This can range from an oil leak or coolant seeping out. It’s better to let an expert check it out.
- Wiper system - After you are done checking the outside parts of your vehicle, let’s go and see the ones inside. Well, before you pop open the hood check your windshield wiper first. Make sure they are still in good condition. If you have noticed any streaking or missed spots, you might need to replace your wiper. After that, pop open the hood and check your wiper fluid. Top it off at least once a month.
- Oil, coolant, and other fluids- Last thing you need to check (and will probably get you dirty) will be the fluids under the bonnet. Doesn’t really matter where you start but the things you need to check are oil level, brake fluid level, and engine coolant level. Make sure they are within manageable levels. In the case of oil, aside from checking the level it’s also smart to check the color. If it already lost its translucent and often golden color and is now pure black, you might want to have your oil changed.
Following this checklist will not only give you peace of mind but also help you save money by addressing issues in your car before they become big problems. Having an oil change sure seems less of a hassle than replacing the whole engine, right?
What other checks do you do before you hit the road?