Woman checking her car

Car Care Checklist: Maintenance Tips and Best Practices for your Vehicle

People often maintain their cars when they’re new. They check on its exteriors for dings and scratches whenever there’s a chance, inspect every weird noise immediately as they’re heard, and even bring it to a mechanic once or twice a month. But as a car ages, some people tend to do regular checkups and maintenance a lot less often, which is ironic since older cars usually require much more frequent maintenance.

Regardless, whether your car is new or old, maintenance and checkups are important to make sure everything runs smoothly, and any damages and issues can be prevented. So, to avoid having to pay for your Subaru Legacy’s head gasket repair or your Honda Civic’s overheating issues, here are known best practices and tips for any car models’ maintenance you can do to save money and prevent any car troubles you might have along the way:

Follow the Manual

Most people tend to forget their owner’s manual right after purchasing the car, and only remember it when it’s already too late and issues come up or repairs are needed. The owner’s manual is basically one’s bible when maintaining their vehicle. The manual also states the service schedule (how often the car needs to be checked, what needs to be regularly maintained or even replaced). So make sure to follow your manufacturer’s manual for the service schedule to avoid any car failures which might leave you stranded in the middle of the road or worse. Your manual will also dictate when to change fluids, timing belts, air and fuel filter, and it would be wise to stick with the schedule.

Check the Tires

Always check your tires and keep them inflated to avoid a slew of other potential problems such as wear, poor gas mileage, and handling issues. All of which are inconvenient and could potentially be life-threatening. Whenever in doubt when inflating your car, check the manual for the PSI specifications. Never over-inflate your tire as well, since it could cause a blowout which, while driving, could be just as dangerous as the other issues stated. And one should also watch out for wear and tear, and be wary of worn out treads which could cause more handling issues. And, as always, keep a spare just in case.

Keep It Clean

Keeping your car clean is not just an aesthetic thing. Grime and other buildups can cause degradation your car’s paint but forgetting to wash the underside of the car can cause various issues such as clogging, rust, chipping, and other issues that can cause a breakdown. So make sure you get an underwash regularly, especially if your car has been through dirty or muddy roads.

Listen and Fix

Man with car mechanic

Listen to your vehicle. If there’s a blinking check engine light, or if you’re hearing any unusual noise, and you’re not that sure of what to do, don’t wait. Have your vehicle checked with a mechanic or at an auto shop immediately and don’t ignore any signs of potential damage. A rattle may sound trivial while driving, but it could be a precursor for an imminent breakdown or some other issue that could potentially be dangerous.

So, whether your car is old or new, take care of it. Take some time to follow these maintenance tips and practices to extend your vehicle’s lifespan and avoid any repairs or inconveniences. Remember, car issues may not only be costly but could be quite inconvenient and potentially life-threatening. Take care of your vehicle so it can take care of you.