The Only Car Maintenance Checklist You'll Need

Using a Simple Car Maintenance Checklist Can Increase Your Car's Life Span

With the average cost of a new car topping $33,5001, most cost conscious drivers want to keep a car on the road as long as possible. If longevity is your goal, good maintenance practices are essential, but they're easy to overlook or postpone when life gets busy. Following a simple checklist will keep you focused on necessary to-do's that can keep your car running longer.2

Car Maintenance Checklist

  • Respond to dashboard warning lights or suspected problems immediately. Ignoring them and continuing to drive the car can lead to engine damage and other problems that can require expensive repairs.

  • Make sure fluids are clean and at the proper level. Change your oil regularly and have your transmission fluid, brake fluid, and coolant checked. If you tend to make many short trips rather than drive long distances, experts suggest you check fluids more often than recommended by the manufacturer.

  • Keep your tires inflated. Buy yourself a pressure gauge or use one at a gas station to cut down on tire wear and tear and improve fuel efficiency. Check your owner’s manual to find the proper inflation for your car.

  • Wash and wax your car. Do it yourself or go to an automated car wash. Either way, it's important to keep your car clean and waxed to eliminate dirt, salt and chemicals that can lead to rust and corrosion.

  • Follow the recommended maintenance schedule. The schedule may benefit your dealer's service department, but it also benefits you, the car owner. Skipping service checks may save money in the short run, but could wind up costing you more in the future. If you find the dealerships' services prices high, a good independent mechanic can save you money, especially if parts and repairs are not under warranty.