Car problems

The car maintenance checklist every car owner should know

When you own a car, you have the responsibility to maintain its good condition for as long as possible. By doing this, not only do you prolong your vehicle’s lifespan, but you also ensure your safety and of the other drivers.

A poorly maintained car can easily become a hazard on the road if it breaks down all of a sudden. What’s more, if, for instance, your headlights stop working and you don’t replace them, it is illegal to drive the car. So, it is of the utmost importance you provide maintenance to your vehicle on a regular basis.

Whether you have recently bought a car or you have owned one for a while, a checklist of the essential maintenance tips will still come in handy. It isn’t uncommon to postpone going with your vehicle to an auto service shop when you get caught up with work and other responsibilities. Therefore, a reminder of keeping an eye on certain aspects, such as if you need to change the oil, is vital.

General maintenance

First and foremost, general car maintenance is necessary every few months. A professional mechanic can adequately look at its engine and other aspects of the vehicle to make sure that everything is working as it should. This means that you shouldn’t only go to the auto service shop when light appears in your car’s dashboard. Such a notification appears when a problem is detected. However, some issues can be solved cheaper and faster if you catch them beforehand.

When you notice there has been a while since you went to your car for its regular maintenance check-ups, you can take a closer look at the vehicle – both on the outside and the inside. Pay attention if you hear any unusual sounds, check the fluid levels, or look for any damages to your car’s body. If nothing feels urgent, you may wait for a couple of weeks. However, do not postpone this, as you want to avoid any possible issues becoming more severe.

Test and check the headlights

As mentioned above, it is an absolute requirement that your car has functional headlights during the day and night. When you are driving your vehicle, no matter if it is a long road or you are in a city’s traffic, it is crucial your headlights are working. Otherwise, you are a danger to both yourself, other drivers, and pedestrians. For this reason, you might get fined for not replacing it as soon as possible.

Therefore, if you notice at least one of your headlights is not working, you will need to replace it as soon as possible. When this happens, you might want to know your headlight bulb size and type. This way, you have a spare one in case you might need to change it yourself.

Depending on your car type, you will have to do thorough research on what to buy. For instance, if you have a Ford F-150 vehicle, you can find essential information, and a headlight chart size, what you are looking for on,

Change tires and check their pressure

There are specific tires for every season, meaning you will need a set of tires for summer and a separate one for winter. Given the extreme and disruptive weather conditions and temperatures for the respective seasons, your car’s needs change accordingly.

When the roads reach incredibly high temperatures or get covered in ice during harsh winter, and if your vehicle doesn’t have the appropriate set of tires, the chances of accidents increase. Therefore, in order to avoid this, make sure you change them before these seasons begin.

Apart from this, it is necessary you frequently check your tires’ pressure at an auto repair shop or learn how to do this by yourself to make sure they are inflated as required. If any of the four tires are either under-inflated or over-inflated, it is enough to cause a serious incident on the road.

Check the fluids

It is of the utmost importance to check the vehicle’s essential fluids that support the engine’s functioning. You might have heard before how vital it is to review and change the oil. It is recommended you do this every month and follow the instructions found in the vehicle’s owner manual on how to change it.

Other fluids you will need to keep an eye on are the coolant or brake fluid. Let’s take the coolant, for example. This fluid, also called antifreeze fluid, is highly essential for the proper functioning of the vehicle, as it brings down the high temperature generated by internal combustion and friction between the engine’s moving auto parts. So, checking the levels of your coolant fluid is of the utmost importance.

A noteworthy mention would be not to do this when the engine hasn’t been turned off for enough time, and it is still too hot. You can either wait for some time until it cools down, so you can check the reservoir, or you could leave the vehicle with your mechanic. This way, you can take advantage of the occasion and ask him to check the levels of all the necessary car fluids.

Wash the car frequently

This might seem like an unusual requirement. Certainly, it is recommended you wash your car on a regular basis. But how can this be related to car maintenance? The truth is that when a vehicle is washed rarely, its exterior will deteriorate faster.

Keeping your vehicle clean both inside and on the outside is highly beneficial. On the one hand, it prolongs the car’s life, as its good condition will be maintained for a more extended period of time. On the other hand, it benefits you, the driver, if the car’s air filters are clean. Otherwise, they can accumulate dust which you inhale. Similar to how keeping your house clean can positively influence your physical and mental health, the same goes for your personal car.

What’s more, there are various contaminants in the air that deposit on vehicles, such as pollen, dust, dirt, salt, and bugs. All of them combined can damage the exterior and, apart from dented paint, rust can also form much faster. So, make sure you wash your car at least once a month, especially during seasons when the level of contaminants increases, such as spring.

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