Most people realise that they need to keep up with regular maintenance if they want their vehicle to be reliable and to last as long as possible. However, there are so many different moving parts and so many things to keep track of. It might help if you make a list to remind you to take action. What should you include on that list?
Keeping Your Cool
One of the most important checks you should carry out every few months is to ensure that your vehicle is keeping its cool. You need to have a look not only at the level of the coolant in your radiator or expansion tank, but you also need to make sure that the mixture is set at the right level. Usually, you will need a ratio of approximately 50/50 split between water and coolant or antifreeze. You can pick up a tester that explains the process quite cheaply at an auto parts store so that you know if your ratios are right.
Looking at Wheels and Tyres
Next, have a look at your wheels and tyres. Go around and check if there are any cuts or other foreign objects in each tyre and remember to look at the back of them as well, even if that means you have to do get down on hands and knees first. This is also a good time to check the bolts that hold each wheel on. You'd be surprised how these can work loose over time, so check the integrity of each one now.
Underneath the bonnet, check your levels. Not only should you be ensuring that you have enough engine oil, but you should also look at the fluid in the power steering and brake reservoirs, as well as the all-important transmission fluid. If any of these are significantly lower than they should be, this is time to schedule a trip to your mechanic to find out why. It may be normal to top up a little bit, but not a lot.
It's a good idea to get your mechanic to look at your brakes at this point if this is not something you're used to doing yourself. You need to ensure that the brake pads are working correctly and not worn down past a certain point.
All of the aforementioned jobs should be put on your "to do" list and repeated at the necessary intervals. You should also ensure that you book the vehicle in for a more comprehensive and professional checkup at least once per year.