Your owner's manual lists what maintenance items need to be done and when to do them. Do not ignore the maintenance schedule! Your car will run better, last longer, and have fewer breakdowns/repairs if you follow the schedule. If you don't have a manual, we have it on our computer. Each car has a different schedule, so be wary of advertised one price fits all prices.
Preventive Maintenance Check it every month. Replace it when it becomes dirty or as part of a tune-up. It is easy to reach, right under the big metal 'lid', in a carbureted engine; or in a rectangular box at the forward end of the air in a duct hose assembly.
Extreme caution should be taken while handling a battery since it can produce explosive gases. It is advisable not to smoke, create a spark or light a match near a battery. Always wear protective glasses and gloves.
Inspect belts and hoses monthly. Replace glazed, worn or frayed belts. Replace bulging, rotten or brittle hoses and tighten clamps. If a hose looks bad, or feels too soft or too hard, it should be replaced.
Check the brake fluid monthly. First wipe dirt from the brake master cylinder reservoir lid. Pry off the retainer clip and remove the lid or unscrew the plastic lid, depending on which type your vehicle has. If you need fluid, add the approved type and check for possible leaks throughout the system. Do not overfill.
Check the oil after every fill up. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean. Insert it fully and remove it again. If it is low, add oil. To maintain peak performance, the oil should be changed every 3,000 miles or 3 months, whichever comes first. Replace the oil filter with every oil change.
Look underneath for loose or broken exhaust clamps and supports. Check for holes in muffler or pipes. Replace the rusted or damaged parts. Have the emission checked at least once per year for compliance with local laws.
Inspect the hoses and belts monthly. If a hose looks bad, or feels too soft or too hard, it should be replaced.
Make sure that all your lights are clean and working, including the brake lights, turn signals and emergency flashers. Keep spare bulbs and fuses in your vehicle.
Power Steering Fluid
Check the power steering fluid level once per month. Check it by removing the reservoir dipstick. If the level is down, add fluid and inspect the pump and hoses for leaks. Use approved fluid.
Look for signs of oil seepage on shock absorbers, test shock action by bouncing the car up and down. The car should stop bouncing when you step back. Worn or leaking shocks should be replaced. Always replace shock absorbers in pairs.
Keep tires inflated to recommended pressure. Check for cuts, bulges and excessive tread wear. Uneven wear indicates tires are misaligned or out of balance. Check your door jamb for recommended tire inflation pressure.
Check transmission fluid monthly with engine warm and running, and the parking brake on. Shift to drive, then to park. Remove dipstick, wipe dry, insert it and remove it again. Add the approved type fluid, if needed. Never overfill. Be sure to check your owner's manual for proper procedure.
Keep the windshield washer fluid reservoir full. Use some of it to clean off the wiper blades.
Inspect the wiper blades whenever you clean your windshield. Do not wait until the rubber is worn or brittle to replace them. They should be replaced at least once per year, and more often if smearing occurs.