Vehicle ownership is both rewarding and demanding, and we need to take good care of our machines so they can take good care of us. Even if you look after your car well, here are some friendly reminders for when to check your vehicle’s vitals.
Tire Pressure and Condition: During regular use, your tires can lose pressure due to a puncture or just weather-related temperature changes. Ensuring all four tires (plus your spare) are not leaking and at proper pressures will ensure you are getting the safest, most fuel-efficient ride year-round.
Windshield Wiper Fluid: This is the fluid everyone forgets to check because we take it for granted. It’s always there when we don’t need it but seemingly always empty when we need it the most. A good rule of thumb is to pop the hood on your vehicle and look at fluids every time you fill up. That way, your fluid will never leave you high and dry.
Exterior Lights (Headlights, brake lights, etc.): Your exterior lights are essential to keeping you and others safe on the road, so they need proper attention every month. A good and quick way to check your lights at night without anyone to spot you is to use surfaces like building walls or store-front windows to bounce your lights off and check them in the mirror yourself. That way, you can always know whether or not your lights are in working order.
Every 3 Months (5,000km~)
Oil level and Filter Condition: If your car leaks, we advise you to check this every time you fill up on fuel. Otherwise, it is best to check your oil levels every 3 months or so. Ensuring your oil is in good condition will ensure that your engine runs with proper lubrication and efficiency and preserves the condition of all the moving parts inside.
Transmission, Coolant, and Brake Fluids: After a reasonable amount of use, your essential fluids will start to show their wear but will not necessarily require a swap this soon. When the transmission fluid wears over time, it loses its properties and will cause your transmission not to function properly. If your coolant is low, it can cause the engine temperature to get too high and cook internal plastic components or warp metal parts. Brake fluid loses its properties just like transmission fluid over time and will cause your brakes to feel unresponsive and “spongy,” which becomes a safety concern for the driver and others on the road.
Every 6 Months (10,000km~)
Checking Windshield Wipers: Making sure your wipers are in order is important for your vision on the road, but are usually only required to be changed seasonally. Making sure you replace them seasonally will keep you ready for any conditions that come your way.
Rotate Tires: Keeping your tires rotated will ensure that your tires will have optimal traction and handling year-round. It will even out the tire wear and ultimately keep your tires performing their best. Rotating your tires in an “X” pattern is recommended by manufacturers as it makes sure that your tires are in a completely different position to ensure proper wear distribution.
Every Year (25,000-35,000km~)
Replace the Air Filter: The air filter is responsible for keeping dirt and dust out of your working components under your hood. The way to check if your air filter needs changing is to see how much buildup is on it. If you can still see through it when you hold it up, that means it’s in working order still. If not, consider replacing it to make sure your parts are protected.
Check Battery Life: Having a faulty battery can lead to ignition issues and leave you in a tough spot on the road. Ideally, check your battery every year before winter or whenever temperatures start to drop. This is because cold temperatures tend to affect battery life. Nobody wants to get stuck in the cold somewhere during the winter.
Check Brake Pads: Your brakes are responsible for keeping you and other drivers safe in traffic and should be a priority when doing your annual checkup for your vehicle. Consider checking them whenever you come into the mechanic shop or whatever comes first when your annual inspection comes up.
Check Ignition System / Spark Plugs: Making sure your ignition system is in working order will ensure that your vehicle stays reliable year-round and doesn’t throw you any curveballs during your busy life. Checking your spark plugs is important because if they are worn out or eroded, it may cause misfires or timing problems leading to damage or fuel inefficiency.
Hopefully, these tips and reminders will help you and your car stay in tip-top shape for any challenge life throws at you. By staying on top of your vehicle maintenance on time, you can extend the life of your car and all its components, ultimately saving you time, money, and headaches.