The days of the full-service gas station are gone, and modern cars can go 30,000 miles or more without a tune-up. So it's up to YOU to check the little things before they become big, expensive problems by checking under the hood of your car on a regular basis.
Following these simple monthly checks will alert you to potential problems that can be dealt with before you get stranded or end up paying for expensive auto repairs.
Check Your Car's Fluids
First a word of caution on fluids - particularly for import cars. Car manufacturer's are required to specify in their owner's manuals all the fluids to be used in your car and the manufacturer's OE specifications for each. Make sure to check here first - BEFORE adding any fluids to your car.
It is also required that OE oils and coolants must be mixable with "off the shelf" products to allow for emergency service. It may not be the best thing for your engine long-term, but you can add plain old 30W oil to $5 a quart synthetics and the same goes for coolants and water.
On the other hand, however, are the hydraulic oils (i.e., power steering, brake fluid, transmission fluid, differential/axle, etc.). These must be at certain specifications for viscosity and liquid type (petroleum vs. mineral vs. synthetic). Hence, it's critical that you know what products to be adding to your car according to the specifications given in your owner's manual.
Your Ongoing Auto Maintenance Shopping List
Here is a list of parts you may need for ongoing maintenance:
- Brake Fluid -
- Motor Oil -
- Coolant & Purified Water -
- Automatic Transmission Fluid -
- Windshield Washer Fluid -
- Selection of Fuses -
- Bulbs for Operational Lights -
- Spark Plugs -
- Spark Plug Wires (Ignition Wire Set) -
- Distributor Cap and Rotor -
- Oxygen Sensor -
- Oil Filter -
- Air Filter -
- PCV Breather Filter -
- Fuel Filter -
- Transmission Filter -
- Vacuum Hoses -
- Temperature Sensors -
- Lubricants -
- Coolant Hoses -
- Belts -
- Tire Gauge -
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