Owning a vehicle comes with the responsibility of caring for that vehicle. After all, it’s a big investment, and you want to make the most of it. Car care typically involves checking, maintaining, and replacing parts from time to time. But the question is, which parts should you focus on when doing routine maintenance? A Ford dealer near Louisville, KY, shares a simple checklist you can use as a guide.
Tires and Brakes
Start with the most visible and most beat up: the tires. Check if the
tread on each tire is still deep. Tires with deep treads have better
traction, which makes steering effortless. While at it, check the
rotors and brake pads, too. Make sure they’re intact and have a firm
grip on the tires. The best way to check is by stepping on the pedal.
If you feel unusual vibration, the rotors must be bent and should be
As a lubricant, engine oil collects dust and debris within the
engine. Consequently, it becomes thick and contaminated over time.
The thicker it gets, the harder the engine parts move. Check your
odometer to see how far you’ve traveled since the last time you
changed your engine oil. Generally, you need to change your engine
oil every 3,000 miles or three months.
Transmission Fluid and Coolant
Besides engine oil, your car has several other fluids in its system.
The other two most essential fluids are the transmission fluid and
the coolant. The transmission fluid lubricates the gearbox, while the
coolant regulates the radiator’s temperature. You have to check them
occasionally as their quality also diminishes. In fact, the coolant
gradually dissipates and needs to be replenished after a few months.
Air, Fuel, Oil, and Cabin Filters
Like the fluids, your car also has many filters. Four different
types, to be exact. The air filter keeps the air entering the engine
clean, while the fuel filter sieves out contaminants from the fuel
before it enters the tank. On the other hand, the oil filter keeps
debris outside the engine, and the cabin filter purifies the air you
breathe inside the car. They’ll get clogged with dust at some point,
so you have to check if they need a replacement.
Drive on a straight path and observe how the steering wheel responds.
If you feel resistance and your car slowly pulls to either side,
there’s a problem with the alignment. It can be dangerous if
neglected. Take your vehicle to a service center for a quick tune-up
before it worsens.
Signal Lights, Tail Lights, and Headlights
Don’t forget to check your car’s signal lights, tail lights, and
headlights now and then. They get beat up too after many months of
use. Make sure they are all clear and bright, and the lens is
damage-free. A broken signal light not only puts you and other
motorists in danger, but you can also get penalized for it.
It’s a must to be a responsible car owner. You avoid being a danger
to yourself and others, and you can make the most of your vehicle.
There are many other things you should check in your car when you’re
doing routine maintenance yourself. But you should also know when to
go to a service center for a professional service because your
vehicle needs a more thorough check from time to time. Check out Jim
O’neal Ford for more helpful tips.