Car Maintenance Checklist

Car Maintenance Checklist

Car problems can easily be avoided through regular maintenance. This article will provide a car maintenance checklist and a few tips to keep you car in excellent condition.
The amount of convenience that cars provide to their owners is unmatchable. One can comfortably travel in, as well as across, cities without breaking much of a sweat. Since a lot of people use cars and have been doing so for a while, they become habituated to a certain extent. Due to this, whenever there is a problem with the car and it is unable to function, people tend to get restless. To prevent this, maintenance assumes prime importance and needs to be carried out on a regular basis. It can be carried out either at authorized company service centers, or at a trusted motor mechanic.

Maintenance Checklist and Tips
  • Air Conditioner:
    The air conditioner is a vital component, which assures comfort to the passengers. Keeping it in a working condition is therefore important for the purpose of enjoying a long drive. Driving in a hot and humid climate requires an effective air conditioner. Check for the following:
    1. Mechanical problems
    2. Below par refrigerant levels
    3. Moisture or air contamination
    4. Blockages in the connecting tubes
    5. Dirt or dust in condenser
  • Brakes:
    The most crucial part for safety are the brakes. For passenger security, it is pertinent to keep brakes in good condition. There will not be a major problem with the brakes all of a sudden. Since these problems grow gradually, detecting them in advance at an early stage will be beneficial. Check for the following:
    1. Parking brake working condition
    2. Brake fluid levels
    3. Hand brakes working.
    4. Complete braking mechanism including brake pedals.
  • Cooling System:
    The cooling system is responsible for preventing the engine from heating up too much. A good cooling system protects the engine, and keeps temperatures under check as well. Using a quality coolant for the engine is recommended. The coolant level needs to be checked once every two weeks. During warmer months, it should be checked once a week.
  • Engine:
    The most crucial component in a car is the engine. It is like the heart of any car. In spite of being a proud owner of a sparkling set of wheels or the best hood in the locality, if the engine of your car is defective, everything is a waste. To ensure the car has a long life, regular maintenance of the engine is mandatory. Check for the following:
    1. Engine oil level
    2. Engine coolant levels
    3. Engine thermostat
    4. Engine belts
    5. Engine air filter
    6. Spark plugs
  • Fuel System:
    Other than the engine, a car's fuel system also needs to be taken care of in the right way. A proper checklist is never complete without including fuel system maintenance. It will help in reducing chances of breakdown and excess fuel consumption by the engine. Check for the following:
    1. Clogging in fuel lines and filters
    2. Places from where the car fills fuel
    3. Other parts of the complete fuel system.
  • Gears:
    The gear system is another important part, and calls for proper handling and care on the owner's part. Gears help in maintaining speed, and therefore, they cannot be misused. While changing gears, the clutch needs to be fully pressed down. Following are some more tips:
    1. Do not be harsh while changing gears
    2. Check transmission fluid levels
    3. Drive the car at the correct gear according to the speed
    4. Grease gears regularly
  • Tires:
    Not many owners are aware, but tires have a vital role to play when it comes to safety and performance. In fact, when maintenance is to be carried out, a proper condition of tires bears foremost importance. The car can skid away if it is being run on worn-out tires, consequently endangering lives of passengers. Check for the following:
    1. Tread patterns in all tires should be similar
    2. Maintain adequate air pressure in all tires
    3. Replace old worn out tires with new ones.
    4. Balance tire-rim assembly regularly
  • Electrical System:
    The electrical system comprises battery, alternator, starter, and fuses. A fault in any of these could cause the car to get stalled midway, leaving passengers stranded. To prevent this, try the maintenance tips listed below:
    1. Change battery ideally once every four years
    2. Tighten all battery cables
    3. Check water level in batteries
    4. Regularly examine the alternator, fuses and starter
It should be noted that the checklist for maintenance given above may not cover certain problems pertaining to minor components.

Following checklist of things you need to do to maintain you car will definitely ensure optimum performance. One of the best maintenance tips anyone could give would be to always use original parts and components while replacement. Also, regularly getting the vehicle serviced will ensure longevity of the car.
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