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Proper car maintenance checklist

We all depend heavily on our vehicles. They carry us to work, to manage family obligations, sometimes they take us on vacation, our cars are very important parts of our lives. Giving your car the attention it deserves will ensure that when you are ready to go, so is your car.

Keeping your car in tip-top shape must be a priority. A well-maintained car is a reliable car. A proper car maintenance checklist can help to provide the guidelines you need to ensure that you are doing all that you can to keep your car on the road where it belongs.

What is Proper Maintenance?

A proper car maintenance checklist does not look the same for every type of car. Some cars, trucks, or vans require a little more maintenance than others. Additionally, the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

In other words, a proper car maintenance checklist that your BMW repair shop recommends may look a little different than what the Chevy repair shop recommends. Of course, there are some basic maintenance tasks that every car needs, but you should still become familiar with what your specific car manufacturer recommends.

A proper car maintenance checklist is a general guide; you can tweak the list to fit your specific needs. For example, every car, truck, and van should have oil changes at regular intervals. Most manufacturers will recommend oil changes at either 3000 or 5000-mile intervals. Get familiar with which is the best practice for your vehicle according to the manufacturer.

Following a proper car maintenance checklist will require that you do your part and have professionals that can manage the parts of the list that you cannot.

Breaking the Maintenance Checklist in A Few Sections

To keep things simple, this checklist will be broken down into easy to manage parts. For example, there will be an exterior maintenance checklist, an interior maintenance checklist, and a mechanical checklist. A lot of people select a specific date to get it all done. They visit the auto parts store, get the materials that they need, and have them on hand. Each month they do their maintenance on the same dates. The 1st and the 15th are good dates to choose from. They are easy to remember.

Proper Car Maintenance Checklist for the Exterior

Working from the outside in is a great place to start. Maintaining the exterior of your car is important. Taking care of the exterior of your car is not just about the appearance. Many components on the exterior of your car are safety features. For example, windshield wipers need to be changed out as they begin to wear. You can purchase a windshield wiper kit to do the replacement yourself.

Tires are also an important safety factor. Make it a habit every time you wash your vehicle to check the treads on your tires and check your tire pressure. Tire pressure can affect your gas mileage. Changes in the weather (going from cold to hot) can cause your tires to lose air pressure. Underinflated tires can wear faster. It is a simple step to check your tires while you are performing exterior maintenance activities like washing your vehicle.

Speaking of washing your vehicle, washing your car is an important exterior maintenance step. It helps to protect the paint on your car and get rid of corrosives. Make it a habit to wash your car at least every two weeks, more if you live in an area where your car is exposed to road salts.

If you are ever in an accident, do not wait to get your vehicle to the auto body collision repair shop to fix the damage. Corrosion is your car’s body’s number one enemy, and it can spread quickly when there is damage left unrepaired.

Better yet, just let the local towing service take the vehicle from the scene of the accident to the nearest body shop. In most cases, the cost will be covered by your insurance.

If the accident was not your fault, the other person’s auto insurance will pick up the tab. Waiting to get the repairs done will put your vehicle at risk of more damage. A very important part of the proper car maintenance checklist is to address repairs as soon as they are necessary.

Back to the maintenance checklist. Here are some things you may need to occasionally replace on the exterior of your car:

  • Headlight lamps and lenses. Headlight lamps can burn out. You can find replacement bulbs in any auto parts store. The lens over your headlight can get cloudy, which can reduce visibility at night. A body shop can change these out for you, or if you have some experience, you can DIY it.
  • Side view mirrors. Typically, these never have to be replaced, except if maybe an accident or you clip something. Check them periodically for cracks and chips. Your auto insurance policy make includes windshield coverage that makes repairs free to you.
  • Windshields. Windshields often get hit with road debris and small rocks, which can leave chips behind. Monitor your windshield for any small chips. Get repairs done as soon as possible.

Most of the time, cleaning the exterior of your car and doing a maintenance check is uneventful, but sometimes, it can give you insight into a problem or a potential problem that you would not have recognized otherwise.

Proper Car Maintenance Checklist For the Interior of Your Car

You did all the exterior checking and cleaning and made a note of any repairs you need to make. Now, let’s look around inside your vehicle. Cleaning the interior of your vehicle is critical to the safety and health of your vehicle.

“Distracted driving” is not only in reference to driving while texting. A lot of people treat the interior of their cars like a diner, bedroom, bathroom, and conference center. Of course, some people treat it like a bar and wind up having to hire a crack DWI lawyer to get them out of trouble.

In all seriousness, your car is meant for one thing, and one thing only, to get you where you are going. Having tons of clutter in your car in and of itself is a tremendous distraction. Before you have to call a car accident law firm to plead your case, get rid of the junk.

Follow the proper car maintenance checklist for the interior of your car, and you can make your car a safe haven for transportation. Decluttering the mess is your first step. Grab a trash bag and throw out any loose trash. Make a mental note to keep a small plastic shopping bag in the car for future refuse.

Once you have all the trash cleared out, use cleaning solutions that are specifically made for car interior cleaning. Do not use harsh chemicals or abrasives on the interior of your car. Do not use household cleaners. Use formulas that are specifically made to clean the interior of cars.

Here are some things that you will need to clean on the interior to keep your vehicle well maintained:

  • Start with the windows and mirrors. Start at the top and work your way down. Clean all the interior glass surfaces in the car. Be sure to clean the review mirror.
  • Dashboard, steering wheel, and other hard surfaces. Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces using an appropriate cleaning solution. Be careful hard plastics can stain easily. Follow the product manufacturer’s instructions on how to use the cleaning solution.
  • Vacuum the seats and floors. If you have cloth seats, use a vacuum to clean away loose debris than a damp rag to lift any dirt. If you have leather seats, vacuum away loose dirt, then use a leather conditioner to clean the seats. Finally, vacuum the floors, don’t forget about the cargo area or the trunk.

If you do all of the above twice a month, your car will stay fresh, clean, and safe. Of course, there may be times when you have to take things up a step further and shampoo the seats or the carpets, but that is typically an annual or semi-annual thing.

Proper Car Maintenance Checklist for Mechanics

We touched on this briefly, but here it is again. Every car, truck, and van needs regular oil changes. However, it can be different for your vehicle. Regular oil changes are one of the easiest and maintenance activities and also one of the best ways to protect your engine.

There are many things that can affect the frequency of your oil changes. First, of course, is what your manufacturer has to say about it. If your manufacturer says every 3000 miles, follow that guideline. If you do not follow your manufacturer’s guidelines for maintenance, you should know that you are at risk of voiding your warranty.

Of course, the manufacturer is only making recommendations. Let’s say that you do some really heavy driving in sandy conditions up and down hills in the heat. Your manufacturer may recommend every 5000 miles, but you probably should go with the 3000-mile rule.

Oil changes are not the only part of the proper car maintenance checklist for the mechanical health of your vehicle. You will need to get brake pads replaced at regular intervals. Have a radiator tune-up done annually, have a transmission tune-up after a certain number of miles (according to your manufacture), and have other maintenance done.

You should think of maintenance as a way to avoid unexpected breakdowns, save money, and stay safe. Maintenance puts you ahead of the game by allowing you to make repairs when you can schedule them instead of being stuck on the side of the road.

A good example of the power of maintenance is replacing brake pads before they fail. Making sure that your mechanic checks your brakes every time you get an oil change will help you to know when they need to be changed. It is easier to budget for repairs this way and is a much safer option. Ultimately, it can also save you money. It is a lot cheaper to replace brake pads than it is to replace all the brake parts. If you address the small issue, it keeps it from turning into larger and more expensive issues.

Here are some other maintenance activities you need to do to keep your car in tip-top condition:

  • Rotate your tires at every oil change. Rotating tires ensures that they wear evenly.
  • Replace plugs and wires. You should have a tune-up according to your manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Getting a coolant check. Have your coolant system checked annually, typically when moving from the winter to the summer.

It may seem like there are a lot of things on the proper car maintenance checklist, and there are, but each one of them is equally important. Taking proper care of your car can be a tremendous stress reducer. When you know that you have done everything in your power to keep your car in tip-top condition you can rest easy knowing it will not fail you.

In between professional oil changes and maintenance, get in the habit of checking fluid levels. Most of the time, you will find that they are fine, but sometimes, for no other reason than the weather, you may have to top them off. Learn where your oil dipstick is, your brake cylinder, and how to check your radiator fluid. This is basic information every driver should know.

Dedicating some time each month to maintenance is far better than dedicating money to costly repairs or standing on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck. It can actually be very relaxing to take care of your car. Experts from the site established that the effectiveness of Viagra, defined as the ability to achieve and maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual intercourse, was demonstrated in all the studies conducted and confirmed in long-term studies lasting 1 year. It is also very rewarding. There is nothing that feels quite as good as a clean car that is mechanically sound with the windows down as you ride down the road with the music blaring. Take care of your car, and your car will take care of you.

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