The Brief and Only Car Maintenance Checklist You’ll Ever Need

Far too many Americans put off preventative maintenance on their vehicle until it is too late. A significant percentage of the public does not understand how important car maintenance is.

One study showed that roughly 25% of drivers feel that their vehicle is a risk to drive. More than one-third of Americans do not know how to change a tire.

To get the most miles and value of your vehicle, it is imperative that you understand preventative maintenance. Read on for a brief car maintenance checklist to follow. This will be the only checklist you ever need to take care of your vehicle.

Change the Oil

The most important maintenance task is to change your oil. You should be doing this routinely after acquiring the vehicle. Oil changes ensure that your engine is operating clean and efficiently.

Each car manufacturer recommends a different mileage interval for changing your oil. If you are unsure, a good rule of thumb is every 3000 miles or 3 months. Regardless of the interval, you should make it a habit to routinely check the car oil level with the dipstick.

Brake Pads and Rotors

Brake pads and rotors are critical for the safe operation of the braking system. Depending on the part quality and your driving habits, brake pads may need to be replaced as soon as 25,000 miles.

Rotors may only need to be resurfaced and not replaced. This depends on how the driver operates the car. If the driver goes through his brake pads and starts grinding on the rotors, they will need to be replaced as well.

It is important to recognize that there are different types of rotors as this article from Remmen Brakes demonstrates. Some rotors need to be replaced more often and are composed of more expensive material.


Having tires with sufficient tread is crucial to safe vehicle operation. With worn-out tire treads, you are more susceptible to a flat tire or blowout on the highway.

The good news is that it is easy to see if you need new tires. You can purchase a cheap tool that measures how much tread you have. The government recommends replacing tires with less than 2/32” of tread left.

Transmission Fluid

Your transmission is one of the most expensive components on your vehicle. A failed transmission will cost you thousands to repair.  

Instead of bringing into a repair shop, you can simply change the transmission fluid. This is a relatively inexpensive maintenance task that will certainly increase your vehicle’s service life.

Air Filter

Replacing your air filter is a cheap and easy maintenance task. It makes your vehicle more fuel-efficient.

In addition, the engine runs cleaner and longer. So long as the air filter is in an accessible location, the vast majority of people can replace this item at home.

The Only Car Maintenance Checklist You Need

This brief checklist covered most items you should take care of on your vehicle. Simple tasks like checking the oil dipstick or measuring tire tread go a long way. They guarantee your car runs longer and safer.

If you enjoyed this car maintenance checklist, check out our blog for more great content.

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