Think of how often you rely and depend on your vehicle. Whether it’s going to work or school, running errands, or transporting others, most people use their vehicle on a daily basis. Vehicle ownership has become less of a luxury and more of a necessity. As we grow more and more accustomed to owning vehicles, the times when our vehicles are broke down or in need of major repair are inconvenient, plain and simple.
Automobiles are not self-maintaining. They require regular attention and maintenance in order to run smoothly. Regular vehicle maintenance is vital to avoiding major repairs and minimizing time spent at the mechanic.
Automobiles require regular mechanical checkups a lot like humans require regular medical checkups. And in both cases, early detection is key. In an effort to keep your vehicle roadworthy as long as possible, I’ve compiled a checklist of when and how your vehicle needs maintenance.
Monthly Vehicle Maintenance
Spending 15 minutes every month can help you catch any mechanical issues early on and keep your vehicle running smoothly.
- Make sure tire pressure is at the correct level for your vehicle. Your vehicle’s recommended pressure setting should be found on the inside of the driver’s door and in your vehicle’s manual.
- Visually inspect tires for signs of wear. Cracks, bulges, and uneven wear are signs your tires may need to be checked by a mechanic. Keeping your tires in good working order will extend how long your tires last.
- A quick scan under your vehicle’s hood is the best way to notice any cracked or split spark plug wires, cracked hoses, or loose clamps.
- Check your vehicle’s fluid levels, refilling as needed. If you notice any fluids running out often, be sure you keep an eye out for leaks as well.
Every Three Months Vehicle Maintenance
Performing the following checks and routine maintenance every three months will help you avoid costly visits to the repair shop.
- Regular oil changes will keep your engine running properly.
- Battery terminals and cables require cleaning if they’re showing signs of corrosion.
- Ensure lights and turn signals are functioning properly.
Every Six Months Vehicle Maintenance
Perform the following checks to discover if your vehicle needs maintenance every six months and avoid letting larger vehicle repairs interfere with your day-to-day life.
- Wiper blades need to be replaced if they’re worn, brittle, or causing smearing
- Check the inflation level on your spare tire. If your spare tire is flat, it will not do you much good when you need it.
- Pay attention to any noises or vibrations when braking. These may indicate your vehicle needs new brake pads.
- Inspect your vehicle’s shock absorbers for oil, seepage, or wear.
Know When Your Vehicle Needs Maintenance
Regularly checking your vehicle’s many components will alert you when routine maintenance is needed. Keeping a regular maintenance schedule reduces your chances of being surprised by any major repairs.