Did you know that American drivers lose over 260 million hours a year due to vehicle breakdowns? If you’ve ever been stranded on the side of the road with a broken-down car, you know how frustrating it can be.

Having the right car maintenance checklist can help you avoid these inconvenient breakdowns. But with so many different maintenance tasks to keep track of, it can be challenging to know where to start.

Here are some essential car maintenance tips to help you keep your vehicle in tip-top shape.

Check the Tire Pressure and Tread Depth Often

Under-inflated tires can lead to flat tires, blowouts, and decreased fuel efficiency. Tread depth is also crucial for traction and safety. You could slip and slide on wet roads if your tread depth is too low.

To avoid these problems, check your tire pressure at least once a month and your tread depth every six months. If the tire pressure is low, pump it to the manufacturer’s recommended level.

As for tread depth, you can use a penny to check it. Insert the penny into the tread with Lincoln’s head facing down. If you can see Lincoln’s entire head, you need new tires.

Keep Your Car Clean

A car that is not regularly cleaned can also cause breakdowns. Dirt and grime can build up on crucial parts, like the alternator and starter. When these parts get clogged, they may not work properly.

Make sure you clean your car regularly. You can DIY the cleaning if you have the interior detailing kit linked here. You can also take it to a professional for a tune-up to ensure that all parts are clean and in good working order.

Check the Brakes

Your car’s brakes can deteriorate over time, leading to longer stopping distances and decreased safety. You should have a professional check your brakes often.

One of the signs that your car needs maintenance is when the brakes start making noises. You might hear a squealing or grinding sound when you brake.

These sounds could indicate more serious problems like worn-out brake rotors, which is why you should involve a professional as soon as possible.

Check Your Oil and Coolant Levels

If your car’s oil level is too low, it can damage the engine. You should check the oil level and top it off if necessary. You should also change the oil every 5,000 miles or so.

Failure to change oil will cause it to break down and form sludge. This sludge can clog up your engine and lead to serious problems. You should also check your coolant level often. 

Low coolant levels could cause your engine to overheat. If you’re wondering how to check the coolant level, remove the radiator cap and look inside. If the coolant level is below the “full” line, add more until it reaches the proper level.

Avoid Costly Breakdowns With This Car Maintenance Checklist

These car maintenance tips can help you keep your car in good condition and avoid expensive repairs down the road.

So add them to your car maintenance checklist and make a habit of checking them regularly. If you have maintenance questions, don’t hesitate to ask a professional for help.

Remember to check out the rest of our blog for more crucial tips.