Keep your car in top condition with our easy-to-use checklist

, 4 min reading time

If you don't maintain your car you'll find yourself stuck in traffic, having to take your car in for repairs more than you'd like, or even worse—having to sell it because you can't afford to fix it any longer. However, there are many rewarding advantages to proper car maintenance that have nothing to do with moving from one point to another.

Apart from the 1-minute inspections you’ll need to do, you should make it a habit to dive a bit deeper from time to time in order to ensure your car stays in perfect running order. These checks include,

1. Engine Oil

Checking the engine oil is a must for any car owner. It’s important because it ensures that you have the right amount of lubrication for your vehicle and that it’s functioning properly.

If you want to keep your car running smoothly, you need to ensure that the right amount of oil is being used in your engine. This can be done by checking the oil level using either a dipstick or an electronic gauge. If the oil is really dark or looks muddy in texture, it’s time for a change. Good engine oil is somewhat translucent with a smoother texture to it.

2. Battery

Your car's battery is an important component of its operation, but it can be easy to forget about. If you're not sure how to test or replace it, this is a good time to check in with your mechanic.

3. Tyres

When it comes to car maintenance, tyres are one of the most important parts. 

They’re the only point of contact between your car and the road, so it's important to know as much about them before buying and storing your tyres!  

The first step is checking the pressure. If you know that a tire is under-inflated, it could cause issues with handling or braking. So, check each of your tires and make sure they have enough air in them.

You should also inspect the treads on each tyre to make sure they aren’t too worn or damaged. This will help prevent accidents caused by a sudden loss of traction when driving on uneven roads or curvy mountain paths!

It is also important to know what the secret numbers on your tyres really mean.

6. Air and cabin filters

If your car doesn't feel like a joy to drive, it's time for an air filter check.

Air cabins and filters are key filters that you shouldn't ignore because they protect the engine and affect the air quality in the cabin. The engine air filter keeps dirt, debris, and other contaminants from getting in. 

While the cabin filter is usually easy to access, the air filter can vary, depending on the make and model you're driving. Clogged filters make the engine work harder to push air through, thereby affecting performance and fuel efficiency. Automakers may have recommended maintenance timeframes based on mileage in the manual, or may not mention it at all. Either way, they all offer some guidance on when is the right time.

7. Spark plugs

A spark plug generally lasts about 50,000 kilometers, but cleaning them and maintaining them periodically lets your engine perform better and increases your plugs' lifespan. If you see rust, carbon, gunk, dust, or any type of buildup during the inspection, it may be time to clean them.

8. Other fluids in your car

All cars run on fluid, and you can manually check that for yourself. You'll have to look at the owner's manual for the specifics of where to find each type of fluid, but all three are typically found under the hood or somewhere near it.

Your owner's manual may not specify how to check or refill them, but you can familiarise yourself with where they are and have a look around. Some manuals will let you know which type of fluid goes where—for example, engine coolant is typically in the engine block while antifreeze goes in the radiator area—but it's always worth checking before replacing any old fluid with something new.

Checking transmission fluid is another one of those maintenance tasks that seems like it should be simple enough (don't we all change our transmission fluid regularly?), but finding out if your vehicle needs it changed often can be tricky without knowing exactly what kind of problems could arise from ignoring maintenance checks like this one

Vehicle maintenance is something we must all remember to do, and it is important to check periodically that the vehicle is in good condition. We touch on what needs to be checked and when, but the frequency will depend on your car usage, the roads you tend to drive on, and so on. It is best therefore to have a list of steps handy for every service.

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