Car Maintenance: 10 Things Every Car Owner Should Know – The Short List


Car maintenance is crucial for ensuring the longevity, safety, and performance of your vehicle. Here’s a basic overview of car maintenance tasks:

Regular Oil Changes:
Engine oil lubricates the moving parts of the engine and prevents them from wearing out. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for oil change intervals.

Tire Maintenance:
Check tire pressure regularly and ensure it’s at the recommended level. Inspect tires for wear and tear, and rotate them periodically to ensure even wear.

Brake Inspection:
Regularly inspect brake pads, rotors, and brake fluid levels. Replace brake pads when they are worn out, and have the brake system checked by a professional if you notice any unusual noises or vibrations while braking.

Fluid Checks:
Check and top up fluid levels regularly, including coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid.

Air Filter Replacement:
Replace the engine air filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. A dirty air filter can reduce engine performance and fuel efficiency.

Battery Maintenance:
Inspect the battery terminals for corrosion and clean them if necessary. Check the battery’s condition and replace it if it’s old or weak.

Inspect Belts and Hoses:
Inspect serpentine belts and hoses for signs of wear, cracks, or leaks. Replace them if necessary to prevent breakdowns.

Check Lights:
Regularly check all exterior and interior lights, including headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and dashboard lights. Replace bulbs as needed.

Wheel Alignment and Suspension Inspection:
Have the wheel alignment checked periodically to ensure proper tire wear and handling. Also, inspect the suspension system for signs of damage or wear.

Scheduled Maintenance:
Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule outlined in the owner’s manual. This includes tasks such as spark plug replacement, fuel filter replacement, and timing belt replacement.

Regular car maintenance not only ensures your safety on the road but also helps prevent costly repairs in the long run. If you’re not comfortable performing maintenance tasks yourself, it’s advisable to take your car to a qualified mechanic or service center.