Though we’re still in the midst of summer, it’s time to start thinking about back to school. Especially if you have a new driver, it’s important to make sure your car (and theirs) is in good working order. Here is a checklist of basic maintenance tasks that you should have done before hitting the road:
Change your oil. This is the most important maintenance task that you can do for your car. Oil helps to lubricate the engine and prevent it from overheating. You should change your oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, or according to your owner’s manual.
Rotate your tires. Rotating your tires helps to evenly distribute the wear and tear. You should rotate your tires every 6,000 to 10,000 miles, or according to your owner’s manual.
Inspect your brakes. Brakes are one of the most important safety features of your car. You should inspect your brakes for wear and tear every time you change your oil. If your brakes are making noise or feeling spongy, you should have them checked by a mechanic.
Check your tire pressure. Tire pressure should be checked monthly and adjusted as needed. Low tire pressure can cause your car to handle poorly and increase your risk of a flat tire.
Top off your fluids. Ensure that your car has the proper oil, coolant, brake fluid, and power steering fluid levels. Low fluid levels can lead to serious problems.
Clean your windshield and headlights. Clear visibility is essential for safe driving. Make sure that your windshield and headlights are clean and free of dirt, debris, and bugs.
Test your battery. A weak battery can leave you stranded on the side of the road. Have your battery tested every year or two.
Check your lights. Ensure all your lights are working properly, including your headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals.
Keep a car emergency kit in your trunk. It’s always good to be prepared for the unexpected.
By following this checklist, you can help to ensure that your car is safe and reliable for the upcoming school year.