Every 2 weeks or 3,000 miles:
1. Check engine oil, transmission fluid and coolant.
Once a month or 1,000 miles:
2. Check tire pressure – with tire gauge.
3. Check transmission fluid.
4. Check brake fluid.
5. Wax car (to protect finish).
6. Check belts and hoses.
Every 3 months or 3,000 miles:
7. Change oil and oil filter (every 6 months or 3,000 miles).
8. Lubricate chassis.
9. Check transmission fluid.
10. Check all drive belts (fan belts) frayed or cracked belts.
Every 6 months or 6,000 miles:
11. Change oil and filter (every 6 months or 3,000 miles).
12. Inspect suspension.
13. Rotate tires.
Every 12 months or 12,000 miles:
14. Flush radiator, replace anti-freeze, check air conditioning
15. Replace air filters.
16. Lubricate chassis.
Every 2 years or 24,000 miles.
17. Replace spark plugs (30,000 miles average suggested for
unleaded gas) and PC valve.
18. Change automatic transmission fluid, filter and pan gasket.
19. Inspect brake linings.
Every 3 years or 30,000 miles:
20. Check and test ignition wires (replace if needed).
21. Test cooling system and heating hoses (replace if needed).
22. Check drive belts (replace if needed).
23. Replace fluid in differential and manual transmission.
Every 50,000 miles.
24. Check brake shoes (replace if needed)
25. If you have a major repair to do, it’s wise to get at least
3 estimates, if possible, before you decide.
26. Read and follow your car owner’s manual – it’s your car’s
bible for making your car last longer.
27. Whether you are a man, woman, boy or girl, learn to do some
routine maintenance on your car yourself. A multitude of books,
videos, magazines and classes are available at your local
library that will teach you for free if you don’t know. Learn
how to check your own oil, transmission fluid, tire pressure and
28. If you find a good mechanic who you can trust, stick with him
even if his prices are a bit higher – all things being equal.
You’ll always save time, money and aggravation in the long run.
29. Don’t race or gun your engine when you start it up.
Accelerate slowly and smoothly when your engine is cold.
30. Avoid burning rubber – it places excessive wear on the
transmission, rear end, not to mention your tires.
31. An international tire company estimated that 33% of all tires
on the road are under-inflated (low air). Under-inflated tires
wear out quicker and have a tendency to blow out easier.
32. A garaged car lasts longer. A car port is next best, and a
car cover is a distant third.
33. Avoid jackrabbit starts and stops. Stop and accelerate
34. Avoid tailgating, tire squealing turns, flying over speed
bumps, pot holes and revving your engine.
35. When possible, avoid driving your car during rush hour stop
and go traffic periods.
36. Keep front-end aligned, for longer tire life and better gas
37. Make sure you get promised repairs in writing including how
much it will cost.
38. Avoid car dealers except to have highly specialized repairs
done that can’t be done properly anywhere else.
39. It’s hard to be overcharged when you get three estimates
before you have the work done.
40. Beware: Cheapest is not always the best. Normally, the best
mechanics with the best equipment and training cost more.
41. Often mechanics that charge extremely low prices have
or out-dated equipment, little to no formal training or are
42. Complex electrical problems are so involved that serious
electrical work should be done in an « Auto Electric » shop. They
have the equipment, tool and training to do the job more
efficiently than the average mechanic.
43. If your car has « Cruise Control » use it. Using cruise
will save you 5% to 10% of a gallon of gas on long trips.
44. Avoid constantly pressing and releasing the accelerator when
driving. This practise not only wastes fuel, but it puts
excessive wear on the drive train of your car.
45. Don’t ride your brake pedal, this wears out your brake
pre-maturely, and wastes fuel.
46. Driving with your windows all the way down at higher speeds,
will waste 10% more gallons of gasoline than driving with them
47. Research by a major car manufacturer has revealed that
of proper routine maintenance is the number one reason for the
enormous increase in car repairs being required.
48. Tires purchased at department stores such as Sears,
Wards, K-Mart etc., can be an excellent value because many are
made by leading tire manufacturers. For a list of what
manufacturer makes which tires for what department store, write
to: Tire Information Center, P.O. Box 677, Syosset, NY 11791
49. When purchasing or changing tires, make sure you have them
50. Avoid cleaning your windshield with a dry rag or towel.
dampen with water or some other cleaning liquid. Dry towels
grind and scratch your windshield hindering your visibility.
51. Avoid turning on the car air-conditioning while running at
highway speeds as this tends to put an immediate heavy load on
your compressor and clutch. This could cause excessive wear and
tear on these components. Instead turn your air conditioner on
at car speeds below 25 to 30 m.p.h. This helps to preserve your
52. Try to avoid running your car with the tank low on gas.
a low tank of gas increases the chance of dirt, water/moisture
and rust forming in your fuel system. Keeping a full tank
decreases the chance of dirt and other foreign matter forming in
your fuel system.
53. Tires driven at 70 m.p.h. wear out almost twice as fast as
that go 50 m.p.h.
54. A government study has confirmed, the top three causes of car
breakdowns while on the road are: (a) running out of gas (b)
tire troubles (c) cooling system problems (overheating)
55. The best as well as the easiest ways to find a good car
shop is by recommendation or referrals from satisfied customers.
56. To work on a late model computer-controlled engines, make
the shop you choose has the equipment to handlecomputer-electric
service/repair. Sophisticated diagnostic equipment is a must.
57. To choose the right repair shop for you, it’s wise to have a
small or minor maintenance or repair job done first to see how
the repair shop and mechanic treat you and your car.
58. Give detailed description of your car’s problem when you take
it in for repairs. The more you can describe what your car is
doing or not doing (thumping, squealing, clacking sound, etc.)
the faster and less it will cost for your mechanic to fix it.
59. When in doubt about the cost of a repair or a mechanic’s
honesty get a second opinion. This is one of the best ways to
protect yourself from being ripped-off until you can find a
permanent repair shop.
60. Regular oil changes are the most important thing you can do
to protect your engine and make it last longer.
61. If you have a manual transmission, downshift to slow your car
down instead of using your brakes. This will save wear and tear
on your braking system.
62. Each time you have your engine oil checked, have your
transmission fluid checked also.
63. Protect your car’s interior and make it last longer – park
your car in the shade or place a windshield guard or cover in
64. If you spill something inside your car, clean it up
immediately before it dries. Delaying even 30 minutes can
sometimes leave a permanent stain or spot. NOTE: To better
protect your car seats have them treated with scotchguard.
NOTE: According to current auto insurance statistics, the
average U.S. car’s useful life is 10 years or 100,000 miles. By
following proper preventative maintenance you can often double
your car’s useful life, and spend less time visiting your local