What Basic Car Maintenance Items Are Important for Safe Driving?

Knowing the proper vehicle maintenance items recommended by the manufacturer is the first step in keeping your car operating stronger and longer than normal. You may be wondering just what are the basic car maintenance items needed for your vehicle? The first place to look is in your owner’s manual. This little book (you should find it in your glove box) outlines a vehicle maintenance schedule for easy reference.

A complete inspection of your vehicle should be done about every 12,000 miles or every 12 months (whichever comes first). Your mechanic will evaluate the components and operating systems for general wear and tear. This inspection should include:

  • Oil changes—including filter replacement (this should be done about every three or four months)
  • Lights—both exterior and interior, should all be working properly
  • Tires—check air pressure every few weeks, rotate all four tires about every six months, and make sure the tires are balanced and the wheels in alignment
  • Brakes—the pads, rotors, and calipers may need to replace about every 50,000 miles.
  • Steering system
  • Engine—run a diagnostic test—a tune-up may be needed
  • Condition and level of fluids—such as the hydraulic fluid, transmission, and coolant
  • Cooling system—including radiator, belts, and hoses
  • Suspension system—condition of shocks, struts, and axles
  • Condition of the battery—including the alternator

Most of today’s vehicles with advanced technology have an in-vehicle service reminder that will illuminate on the dashboard for certain vehicle maintenance services, such as oil changes, fluid level checks, brakes, transmission, etc. But if you have an older vehicle, you will need to read your owner’s manual for the vehicle maintenance schedule based on the number of miles driven within a specific time period.

Tip for Safe Driving: Take care of routine vehicle maintenance before a problem turns into a costly repair. You will not only save time and money spent at an auto shop, but you can also be saving lives by preventing an accident!

Need to know what basic car maintenance items are important for safe driving? Contact our ASE-Certified Technicians at Toledo Tire and Auto Care—Heathersdown Blvd., for more information about the vehicle maintenance schedule for our vehicle and to schedule an appointment. Our three auto shops are proud to serve vehicle owners in Toledo, OH, and the surrounding areas.