The best accident prevention is timely checks. That’s why you need to make sure your car is doing alright not only when the check engine light is on or the vehicle refuses to start altogether. Keeping track of all the checks isn’t easy. And in this article, we listed everything you need to pay attention to every month, every three and six months, and every year.
Consult the car manual for the recommended PSI, which stands for pounds per square inch, for your tires beforehand and keep the pressure at this level. When correctly inflated, they make up for a smoother and safer ride since the contact with the road will be even, better fuel efficiency, and expanded life expectancy of the tires. You can make use of a free air pump service almost at every petrol station. Don’t forget to set the PSI established by the manufacturer on the machine. When in doubt, ask the staff for help.
- Oil level
Another thing you need to check monthly is the oil level. Since oil lubricates the engine parts and keeps them from being literally fried, you want to make sure that the level hits the second marker on the dipstick. Best time to check the oil level is several minutes after driving.
- Brake fluid
This is another easy monthly check that will only take you a few minutes to complete but will help you avoid accidents. You only need to open the fluid reservoir and take a look inside. You want to make sure that the level is somewhere between the maximum and the minimum indicators. With the car that is robust, you only need to top the level occasionally. However, if you notice that you have to do it all the time, check the reservoir for leakage.
Every three months
- Dashboard indicator light
Modern cars are stuffed with sensors that when intact, report problems with the vehicle on time. This is why you want to make sure that your dashboard indicator light works just fine. Make sure it didn’t burn out and replace it if necessary.
- Engine air filter
Malfunctioning air sensors account for increased emissions, decreased MPG, and the vehicle stalling more often than usual. Usually, the cause behind all these issues is the faulty air filter that you normally need to replace every year, but check regularly – preferably every three months.
You normally need to check the battery every three to six months. There are several ways to go about it. Many retailers offer a free test. You can buy a multimeter to make sure that the battery measures at around 12.6 volts or above. Or you can make use of various life hacks that will help you check the battery without any special equipment.
Every six months
- Chassis lubrication
You want to check chassis lubrication before your neighbors know when you leave for work and come back home by heart-wrenching squeaking sounds from your car. To cut the annoying chirping of your poor suspension, buy a grease gun, chassis grease, and a few aerosol cans of lubricant. And don’t rely much on the manufacturer’s claims about the ‘lubed-for-life’ chassis.
- Wiper blades
You don’t want faulty windshield wiper blades to mess with your vision on the road. Otherwise, you’ll be putting yourself and others in danger. Check them twice a year, preferably after the seasons with the not-so-good weather – rain and snowfall. Once you see that the rubber on the blades is worn out and doesn’t come in contact with the windshield properly, replace it.
Every driver needs to make sure that their vehicle will come to a halt right away when needed thus preventing accidents on the road. That’s why checking the brake pads is an absolute must on your yearly checklist. Manufacturers usually install squealers that will make a high-pitched sound when the pads are worn out thin. This is a telltale sign that you need to replace them.
- Air cabin filter
About a half of new cars now have an air cabin filter that keeps the air inside the vehicle clean. You need to change it every 20-25,000 miles, or yearly. When not checked regularly, the filter gets clogged with dust and dirt and can even grow mold and cause allergic reactions from those who frequent the car. Gross.
- Wheel alignment
The days of smooth fun rides are gone, and now the car is throwing fits drifting to the left or to the right? It’s about time you set it straight. Another bullet point on your yearly checklist is wheel alignment.