Routine maintenance is vital for keeping any car on the road longer, and it’s even more critical with used vehicles as, in some cases, you don’t have the warranty coverage to fall back on. Also, the wear and tear that a used car has already been through means needing a bit more TLC than a new one.
Thus it is recommended to invest in high-quality replacements or auto repairs before they become worse and more expensive to fix.
At Same Day Auto Repair in Tulsa, we want you to get the most out of your used automobile purchase, so we’ve compiled this simple used car maintenance checklist.
Let’s look at intervals for routine maintenance that are essential for keeping your used car in good condition.
Routine Maintenance Checklist to Prolong the Life of Your Used Car
Once a Month
Pick a day every month to perform routine maintenance tasks. It will help you stay on top of things and prevent more significant, more expensive problems. The monthly check includes the following:
- Check fluid levels: engine oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid.
- Inspect belts and hoses: look for wear, cracking, or splits.
- Check tire pressure and tread depth: improper inflation can decrease fuel efficiency, and over time, tires will wear down unevenly if not appropriately inflated.
- Lubricate hinges, locks, and latches: keep them working smoothly.
- Check air filter: a grimy air filter can reduce engine performance.
- Check for leaks: under the car, around the engine, and under the hood.
Every 3,000 Miles
You feel a little more leeway when performing routine maintenance tasks on a used car that’s 3,000 miles or older than when the car is newer. However, every 3,000 miles, your need to go for check the following:
- Change the engine oil and oil filter.
- Inspect the brakes, including brake pads and linings, calipers, and rotors
- Check the steering system for tightness or looseness.
- Examine the exhaust system for leaks, damage, and proper mounting
- Check the cooling system for leaks and proper fluid levels.
- Inspect the suspension system for wear, cracks, leaks, and proper fluid levels
Every 6 Months
Roughly every six months, your car should undergo a more comprehensive inspection. An auto repair technician should look at several key systems and components to ensure they’re all in good condition. It includes:
- Change the engine coolant.
- Inspect the drive shaft boots
- Inspect the battery and cables
- Check the brakes and replace them.
- Inspect the tires and replace them
- Check the air conditioning system and recharge.
Every 10,000 Miles
10,000 miles are way too long to go without inspecting your car, but if you do happen to make it that far, these are the things you should look out for:
- Inspect your belts and Rotate your tires
- Check your shocks and struts
- Lubricate your chassis
- Wipe down your engine
- Clean your air filter
- Inspect and replace your fuel filter
- Replace spark plugs
- Check your ignition system
- Change your transmission fluid
- Check and replace your differential fluid
- Check and replace your power steering fluid
Once a year, your car should undergo a more thorough inspection that includes the following:
- Check the body for rust and damage
- Inspect the suspension system for wear and tear
- Check the steering system for damage
- Check the brakes for wear and tear
- Check the drivetrain for slippage
- Inspect the engine for leaks
- Check the electrical system for shorts and corrosion
- Replace the cabin air filter
It’s also good to have your car’s alignment checked, especially if you’ve been driving on rough roads or noticed your car pulling to one side. A full inspection of your car by a qualified auto repair mechanic in Tulsa can help you catch any significant problems before they become too costly or dangerous.
Every 30,000 Miles
This interval demands significant replacements or repairs. Tackle these jobs at 30,000 miles:
- Inspect the entire exhaust system and replace it as necessary
- Replace the spark plugs
- Check the ignition system
- Inspect and replace the fuel filter
- Replace the air filter
- Check the drive belt
- Check the fluid levels in the power steering, transmission, brake, and differential systems
- Inspect the hoses and belts for wear
- Check the shocks and struts
The 30,000-mile mark is also a good time to have your car waxed, both inside and out, to keep it looking its best.
No matter how well you take care of your car, there will come a time when it needs more extensive repairs. But by following a regular maintenance schedule and being proactive about inspecting your vehicle, you can lengthen the time between those major repairs and keep your car on the road longer.
If you are unsure where to begin, take your car to an auto repair shop in Tulsa, and have it inspected by a qualified mechanic. That way, you will get to know exactly what needs to be done to keep your car running like new.