Maximize Performance: The Car Maintenance Checklist
January 30, 2024

Maximize Performance: The Car Maintenance Checklist

FOLLOW A MAINTENANCE PROGRAM

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SEARCH FOR A TRUSTED MECHANIC

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CHECK THE AIR PRESSURE IN YOUR TIRES

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REVIEW YOUR SUSPENSION FREQUENTLY

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SERVICE YOUR VEHICLE AS REGULARLY AS POSIBLE

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CONCLUSION

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The Importance of Vehicle Maintenance

Vehicle maintenance is the foundation of automotive care, offering more than just periodic tune-ups and part replacements. Diligent upkeep prolongs your vehicle's performance, reliability, and longevity. Delving beyond occasional check-ups, this routine practice is a proactive investment, ensuring your vehicle operates optimally, while preventing unexpected malfunctions. Understanding the significance of regular maintenance is pivotal for your car’s health and even your safety.

Car Maintenance Checklist

  • Oil Service – Regular oil services (usually every 5,000 to 7,500 miles) keep the engine running smoothly by preventing excess wear and maintaining proper lubrication. 
  • Tire Care  – Regularly check tire pressure and tread depth, and rotate tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles for even wear that makes your tires last.
  • Battery – Maintain the battery by cleaning terminals, ensuring secure connections and checking its health; this is done during routine maintenance checks.
  • Brake Inspection – Regular brake inspections are important for safe operation. Your mechanic will watch for signs of wear on brake pads, discs, and fluid levels.
  • Lights and Signals – For your safety, make sure your lights and indicators are functional, including headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and hazard lights. 
  • Air Filters – Have your engine air filter replaced every 12,000 to 15,000 miles and cabin air filter every 15,000 to 25,000 miles to maintain air quality and engine efficiency.
  • Cooling System – Check your coolant level. If your coolant level is low, check for leaks and ensure your thermostat is functional to prevent overheating.
  • Exhaust System – Inspect for any leaks, unusual noises, or damage that could affect performance and safety.
  • Suspension and Alignment – Look out for vibrations, unusual tire wear, or steering issues that indicate problems with the suspension or alignment.
  • Wipers and Washer Fluid – Replace worn wiper blades and maintain adequate washer fluid levels for visibility in poor weather conditions.
  • Spark Plugs – Replace spark plugs at intervals recommended by the manufacturer for smooth engine operation.
  • Steering and Transmission Fluid – Regularly check and fill steering and transmission fluids for smooth performance.
  • Fuel System – We recommend occasionally adding a fuel system cleaner to maintain performance and clear deposits in your fuel system.
  • Annual Inspection – An annual check by a professional ensures all systems are functioning correctly and catches potential issues before they cause permanent damage.

Service Immediately

Become familiar with your dashboard lights and keep an eye out; dashboard lights may indicate your vehicle demands immediate attention.

If any of the following lights come on, it's essential to have your vehicle inspected by a professional technician to identify and correct the issue. Ignoring these warnings can lead to damage and costly repairs down the line, and most importantly, puts you and your passengers at risk of safety hazards.

  • Low Tire Pressure – Your car will alert you when your tire pressure is below optimal. When you see this warning, inflate your tires as soon as possible– low tire pressure can lower fuel efficiency, raise the likelihood of hydroplaning, and risk the safety of the driver and others on the road.
  • Faulty Headlights and Taillights – If your fuse is blown or your lights are burnt out, you have lowered visibility and are not detectable to other drivers at night, compromising your safety (and risking a hefty fine).
  • Check Engine Alert – This light indicates potential issues with the engine or its components. Service your engine promptly to prevent severe damage or reduced performance. If the light is flashing please find a safe place to park and call the shop immediately. Do not drive while flashing. 
  • Airbag Light – This signals issues with the airbag system and concerns immediate attention to ensure safety measures in the event of an accident. Have your airbag system checked by a trusted mechanic. 
  • Coolant Temperature Light – This light warns drivers the vehicle is overheating; this could indicate a risk for severe engine damage. Find a safe place to pull over and allow the engine to cool down and call the shop for assistance.
  • Battery Light – Signals a malfunction in the charging system. Ignoring it might lead to issues with stalling. 
  • Oil Pressure Light – Indicates low oil pressure or oil pump failure. Continuing to drive can severely damage the engine.
  •  Brake System/ABS Warning – This light signals there's an issue with your anti-lock or normal braking system, and braking performance is compromised, especially in emergencies. This light calls for an urgent inspection with a professional mechanic.

Keeping It Clean 

Lastly, housekeeping your car is conducive to maintaining a strong resale value. Once a year, we recommend a full-detail service to revive and protect your vehicle’s paint. 

Interior cleaning is also important. Immediately clean any spills before they become tough stains or damage leather/vinyl. This can also damage critical computer systems and control modules.

Schedule a Service

This car maintenance checklist is a helpful outline for prolonging your vehicle’s longevity, ensuring road safety, and preserving its resale value. If your car is in need of a tune-up or an urgent service, visit any of our True Automotive locations in Colorado and Georgia. At True, you will find expert mechanics, complimentary loaner vehicles, and excellent service at an honest price.

We service all makes and models. Click the button below to select a location and schedule your service!

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