Neglected vehicle care almost always mean higher costs down the road in the form of more extensive repairs or lost resale value. A routine maintenance program makes financial sense, extending the vehicle life and helping avoiding costly repairs. The Car Care Council recommends 10 basic maintenance procedures to keep your car operating at its best:
1. Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake, and transmission as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze.
2. Check the hoses and belts to make sure they are not cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or showing signs of wear.
3. Check the battery and replace if necessary. Make sure the cable connection is clean, tight and corrosion free.
4.Check the brake system annually and have the brake linings, rotors and drums inspected at each oil change.
5. Inspect the exhaust system for leaks, damaged or broken supports, brackets and hangers.
6. Schedule a tune up to help the engine deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy and produce the lowest level of emissions.
7. Check the heating, ventilating and A/C system as proper heating and cooling performance is critical for interior comfort and for safety reasons such as defrosting.
8. Inspect the steering and suspension system annually including shock absorbers, struts and front end components.
9. Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread depth. Check for any signs of bulges and bald spots. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment.
10. Check the wipers and lighting so you can see and be seen. Replace worn wiper blades and so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.