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Your Maintenance Checklist for Your Vehicle

Keeping up with your vehicle’s maintenance can be tough.  When did you last get the oil changed?  When does your car need to have the radiator flushed.  Making a checklist of regular maintenance tasks can help you to streamline your vehicle’s upkeep and help to preserve the resell value.

 

There are several options when it comes to making a car maintenance checklist.  Whichever approach you take, make sure your list is simple to follow, easy to update, and that it will actually be helpful to you.  Most car owners use a booklet that fits in the glove box.  However, technology provides several other options that include PDAs, mobile phones, laptops, or OnStar.  Choose the method that works best for you.

 

Be sure to divide your checklist into four timetable categories: monthly, quarterly, twice yearly, and as needed.  The “as needed” category is important to track every maintenance activity, even the unforeseen ones.

 

Here are some ideas for what to include on your checklist:

 

Monthly

  • Check the oil level
  • Check the hoses and belts.  Replace worn or frayed belts
  • Check tire pressure and compare to the tire pressure chart provided in your owner’s manual  Add air as needed.
  • Check  the coolant.  Make sure the engine is cool and add coolant if it’s slow.

 

Quarterly or 3,500 miles

  • Change oil and replace oil filter (check your owner’s manual for specific recommendations for your car, truck or SUV).
  • Look at the battery terminals and cables and check for corrosion.  Clean if needed
  • Check windshield washer fluid and add if needed.
  • Check brake fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid.
  • Using a coolant gauge, check the integrity of the coolant based on seasonal recommendations.
  • Remove and check air filter and replace if dirty.  Make sure dirt doesn’t fall into the intake when removing the old filter.

 

Biannually (every six months) or 7,000 Miles

  • Check wiper blades and replace if needed.
  • Ensure headlights, brake lights, horn, and signals work.
  • Check brakes for wear.
  • Inspect the spare tire to make sure it’s inflated.
  • Examine exhaust system looking for damage, rust, or loose parts.
  • Check shock absorbers for wear and oil seepage.

 

Keeping a car maintenance log can help to keep you organized and on top of required maintenance.  This, in turn, can help to improve the resale value of your vehicle.  If you have a maintenance log, the buyer knows what they’re getting into and may be willing to pay a good deal more since they know exactly what kind of shape the car is in.

 

Many of the routine maintenance tasks can be performed at home.  But, if you do not feel comfortable doing them yourself, or if you just don’t have the time, schedule an appointment with the Lake Country service department.  They can perform all regular maintenance tasks for you.