10 Steps for Basic Car Maintenance
Maintenance is a year-round effort, but the combination of snow, ice, salt, and rain in the winter months, along with the buildup of months of harsh elements, means that spring is the ideal time to give your vehicle a status-check. The Car Care Council recommends these 10 basic maintenance procedures to keep cars operating at their best:
- Check the oil, filters and fluids. Oil should be checked at every fill-up and changed per the owner’s manual recommended intervals. Brake, transmission, power steering, coolant, and windshield washer fluids should also be checked regularly.
- Inspect hoses at each oil change and replace them when leaking, brittle, cracked, rusted, swollen, or restricted.
- Every year, check the engine brake system and have the brake linings, rotors and drums inspected at each oil change.
- Check that the battery connection is clean, tight, and corrosion-free. The battery should be securely mounted. If the battery is three years old or more, test it and replace it if necessary.
- Inspect the exhaust system for leaks, damage, and broken supports or hangers if there is an unusual noise.
- Schedule a tune-up that will help the engine deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy and produce the lowest level of emissions.
- Check the car’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
- Inspect the steering and suspension system annually, including shock absorbers and struts, and chassis parts, such as ball joints, tie rod ends, and other related components.
- Check the pressure of all tires, including the spare, at least once a month. Check the tread for uneven or irregular wear, cuts, and bruises along the sidewalls.
- Test exterior and interior lights and have bulbs that are not working checked immediately. Replace windshield wiper blades every six months.
Now that you have completed basic car care maintenance, it's time to clean up your car and get it ready for the season. Regularly washing your car is one of the most important steps in maintaining its paint, but don't stop there. Malco Automotive offers a wide variety of exterior and interior cleaning products to fit your needs. Make sure you consider the tires and wheels, trim, and the car interior. If you aren't familiar with Malco products, our top picks include:
Exterior Cleaning Products
Interior Cleaning Products
When cleaning your car, always work from the outside to the inside and from the top to bottom. Make sure you have clean microfiber towels, a clean microfiber wash mitt, two buckets (one for wash water and one for rinse), and access to clean, fresh water.
For more details on how to detail a car, please review other content in the Malco Knowledge Center.