With spring set to deliver warmer temperatures, now is a great time to be thinking about things you need to get done. Sure, you might be thinking about spring cleaning or working on a garden, but you should also take time for your vehicle. A car care schedule is a simple list of items for you to check, just to make sure there are no serious issues later. This schedules take only a short time to complete, but could save you a lot of cash if you spot a problem before it gets serious. Feel free to modify your schedule to meet your specific vehicle/driving needs.
Every week, just simply pay attention to your vehicle. As you approach to get in, do a quick walk-around. Visually check to make sure the tires are not under inflated and bulging. Make sure there aren’t any new dents, or chips in the paint that will need attention. Yes, the car is still drivable, but not fixing a dent or chip could lead to rust. Also take a moment to inspect the windshield for chips. These small dents from rocks and debris can quickly become large cracks if not fixed.
Every month, take a moment to pull out the air pressure gauge and see if your tires are properly inflated. Total time investment is under two minutes for checking four tires, and skipping the inspection could be costly. Tire Rack estimates that a 6 psi reduction in tire pressure causes a 5% reduction in gas mileage and up to 25% reduction in tire life. Check the wiper blades to make sure they are not chipped or fraying. Also, check the exterior to see if it needs washing. Grit and grime can mask problems, so get that junk off.
Every three months is when you need to be a little more involved. Check the oil, and change as needed. Same for the air filter. If your car has a cabin air filter, take a look at that. Inspect the tires for foreign objects, damage, or unusual wear. Consider waxing the vehicle as it does help protect against UV damage. A car with nice paint commands a higher resale value. Finally, if you have a dedicated parking spot in your garage or driveway, take a quick look for any new drip spots. Take an empty plastic bag with you to clean out the interior, as all those leftover McDonald’s bags can add up.
Rotate the tires every year, or 10,000 miles, whichever comes first. Most likely that will be the mileage count, so it can be considered a bi-seasonally maintenance item. Every other year, have the fuel filter replaced. They are cheap, and replacing a clogged one will restore lost gas mileage. Speaking of, take a look at a fuel system cleaner. They do not need to be run every tank like the bottle suggests, but once a year treatment will help burn off any unwanted deposits. Have the brakes and suspension looked at, and replace pads and add grease as needed. Also replace that scented tree hanging from the rearview mirror. That’s getting old.