It is important to make sure your car is always up-to-date on routine maintenance and is in good working condition every time you are on the road to reduce your risk of an accident. There are enough dangers on the road already -- you don't want to end up in an accident because you had a blowout because your tires were wearing thin. Making sure you are up-to-date on routine car maintenance can also help you to avoid costly auto repair by addressing small problems before they become big problems.
Your own maintenance schedule will vary according to the type of car you drive and your driving habits (how often you drive, how far, etc.). However, here is a basic checklist of commonly recommended routine car maintenance needs:
This is the easiest one to remember as it's the most common that people actually do. You need to change your oil every 3 months or every 3,000 miles (whichever comes first). Some newer vehicles say it's OK to do it every 5 months, so check your manual to be sure.
Proper inflation and tread on your tires in important for ensuring safe handling on the road. Check the pressure on your tires whenever you change your oil, and schedule a tire rotation for every 5,000 miles. Regular rotation will ensure even wear on your tires to reduce the risk of a blowout.
Most people wait until the battery dies to replace it, but you should have the battery fluid checked about 4 times a year to make sure your battery is healthy. If you do, your battery could last you 10 years.
You don't ever want to be in a situation where your steering wheel locks up or where it is hard to turn the wheel in an emergency situation. Therefore, you should check your power steering fluid every 6 months. Your entire steering system should be checked annually for leaks and damage.
Spark plugs can effect multiple systems in your car, so it's important to make them part of your routine car maintenance to avoid expensive auto repair later. Fortunately, you don't have to do it too often. Spark plugs should be checked and changed every 100,000 miles.
Belts are another important part of your routine car maintenance that, fortunately, doesn't have to be done too often. Belts have to be replaced about every 60,000 to 90,000 miles. Belts that become worn or loose can present serious risks while you are driving, so it's important to include them in your maintenance schedule.
Squealing and grinding are good signs your brakes need to be replaced. You also need to ensure that your brake fluid is at adequate levels and is healthy. Check the brake fluid whenever you get an oil change, and have it replaced every 2 years or every 24,000 miles, whichever comes first.
It is important to check on all your fluids and engine components to be sure that everything is in good working order to reduce your risks on the road. These are some of the most common things to check in your routine car maintenance schedule, but you should check your car manual for specific recommendations for your car.