Monthly Car Maintenance Checklist
Your car is your greatest ally when it comes to work, play, and everything in between, yet it undergoes wear and tear on a daily basis. If left untreated, minor problems can quickly develop into major ones, leaving you holding the bill at the end of the day. Fortunately, you have ways to counteract the effects of wear and tear on your vehicle. With a monthly car maintenance checklist, you can catch problems before they happen, improve the longevity of your vehicle, and make it run smoothly all year long.
Check Tire Pressure
Image via Flickr by Laineema
All the high-tech safety features in the world are nice, but in reality, the only things on your car touching the ground are your tires. These tires are as responsible for keeping you safe as they are for cornering and handling. While tire changes every 25,000 to 50,000 miles are ideal and tire rotations every 5,000 miles are nice, checking your tire pressure is the best thing you can do to protect your life and your vehicle.
If you have a car produced after 2007, your tire pressure monitoring system alerts you to any inflation issues affecting your tires. If your car is older than that, you just have to check your tire pressure with a tire gauge. Always consult the manual to determine the correct tire pressure, but as a general rule, it should be between 30 and 35 pounds per square inch.
Inspect the Battery
Maintaining your battery is the simplest task on your monthly checklist and requires just a few moments of your time. To keep your battery’s life at its longest, pop the hood and check the battery for frayed connector cables and corrosion around the terminals. Broken cables can’t charge the vehicle so they need replacement, while corrosion can cause your battery to weaken and even contribute to electrical problems.
Top off the Coolant
Along with oil, engine coolant helps maintain proper engine temperature for optimal engine operation. If it falls too low, you risk damaging your engine or overheating on the way to your destination. Fortunately, it takes just a minute to check it. Locate the radiator cap near the front of the engine compartment, and always make sure your engine is cool before opening it. If it’s full, you should find the coolant at the full line. If it’s not, top the coolant off with a pre-mixed solution or mix a 50/50 water to coolant ratio on your own to save some cash.
Check Brake Fluids
Since you already have the hood open, check the other fluids that are vital to your safety and vehicle performance. Brake fluid is always important to keep at the right level, as without it, you put yourself and others at risk. This is usually in a clear or translucent, plastic reservoir that’s easy to read if it’s low. Top the brake fluid off as necessary.
By keeping up with a monthly car maintenance checklist, you improve the value and drivability of your vehicle and keep yourself free from harm and stress. Plus, it greatly outweighs the costly alternatives of an auto collision repair bill or buying a new car altogether.Categories: Safety, Tips