We all know sticking to a regular schedule is important for overall health. But did you know, sticking to a regular car maintenance schedule is important for the health of your car? I know it may seem weird to think of your car as being healthy or not, but it is practically the same thing! If you do not stick to a regular car maintenance schedule your car will experience some unwanted problems, just like getting sick.
Which is why I have created a printable car maintenance schedule for you!
Checking things like your engine oil, tires, wiper blades, and fluids, is important not only for your car but for your safety as well. Most maintenance work can be done yourself, while others your mechanic should check out. And remember, finding a good, trustworthy mechanic is important. All of this will save you time and money in the long run, plus checking your car will keep your mind at ease the next time you head down to the beach.
So let’s dig in and find out what we need to check and when!
Car Maintenance Schedule
What To Check Monthly
- Engine Oil: As I once discussed, checking your engine oil is very important to making your car last longer and run smoothly. This can be checked by you and changed by a mechanic.
- Check Engine Light On: Remember my previous post on check engine lights? Make sure you understand why they come on and what you can do to prevent it from coming on.
- Cleaning: Make sure you clean your car regularly. Cleaning your car not only makes it look good but will help the paint last longer.
- Lights: Check your lights monthly. You can do this yourself by simply putting your lights on and checking them from outside. Check your turn signals too!
- Tires: Check the PSI of your tires monthly. If you travel long distances this could become twice a month.
- Windshield Washer Fluid: Make sure it is always topped off. You don’t want to run out of this fluid during the buggy summer!
Every 3 Months or 3,000 Miles
Make sure to check the items above like engine oil, lights, tires, windshield washer fluid, and check engine light on. Along with that, you need to check the following..
- Transmission Fluid: Very rare that this will run low, but checking it will help prevent any damages or leaks.
- Battery and Cables: Make sure to check the battery fluid (water), cables for rust, and the battery charge itself.
- Belts: This can be done by your mechanic during your oil change. Checking the belts will ensure a quieter, smoother, more safe vehicle.
- Exhaust: Making sure your exhaust is cleaned out is important to car safety. You will know if you have an exhaust leak if your car makes a loud rasping noise. Have your mechanic check and clean the exhaust during an oil change or inspection.
- Fuel Filter: This keeps contaminants from clogging your fuel line. Ask your mechanic to check this during an oil change.
- Hoses: Same as checking the belts. Have your mechanic check the hoses to ensure they are up-to-date and working properly.
- Power Steering Fluid: You can easily check this fluid and top it off if need be. Learn more from our previous article on power steering fluid.
Every 6 Months or 6,000 Miles
You will want to check all of the items in the 3 month/monthly schedule, plus the following…
- Chassis Lubrication: You can lubricate these yourself or have your mechanic do so. It will help the car run smoothly and keep rust to a minimum.
- Polish/Wax: Check out my experiment I did on waxing. Learn how to wax your car and polish/wax your car twice a year.
- Engine Air Filter: Similar to cabin air filter, the engine air filter prevents harmful debris from entering your engine.
- Tire PSI and Condition: Along with checking the PSI, check the condition and treads of your tires. Make sure they are treading evenly, have good traction, and nothing is wedged in them.
- Wiper Blades: Check to make sure your wiper blades aren’t streaking across your windshield. If they are, you can buy new ones at any shop and replace them yourself.
Every 9 Months or 9,000 Miles
Everything listed above, excluding wiper blades, chassis lubrication, and polish/wax.
Every 12 Months or 12,000 Miles
You have finally hit your one year mark. Checking everything listed above is crucial to making your car last longer (including another polish/wax). You need to also check the following…
- Cabin Air Filter: The air filter should be clean and not too black. This can be checked by your mechanic during your inspection. If there is a lot of debris, wear, and tear, then replace the air filter.
- Coolant (antifreeze): I wrote an article on coolant fluid so make sure to read up on it.
- Steering and Suspension: You want to make sure both are working properly and there are no squeaking noises or mushy brakes. Your mechanic will check this during your yearly inspection/checkup.
Make sure to read over and print out my car maintenance schedule to keep you on track! It may seem like a lot, but if you stick to a regular maintenance schedule and mechanic, your car will run smoother and last longer, saving you time and money along the way! Remember, a happy car = a safe car 🙂
Preview (click the link above for full version)
Date And Mileage Of Service
|Check Engine Light On|
|Windshield Washer Fluid|
|Every 3 Months (3,000 Miles)|