New Year, New Car: An Essential Car Maintenance Checklist


New year, new car! Congratulations on your new investment.

Your new car has probably cost you a fortune, and you don’t want it to develop mechanical issues soon. While this is possible, it can also be the other way around. And whether you’re going to experience mechanical problems or not depends on how much care you take of your car. With proper and on-time maintenance, your car can run smoothly without any hiccups. To help you maintain a better-performing car, here’s an essential car maintenance checklist:

1. Familiarize Yourself With The Owner’s Manual

Most drivers tend to ignore the owner’s manual. However, this shouldn’t be the case. Just as you wouldn’t purchase a gadget and begin using it without reading its handbook, you shouldn’t drive the car without knowing how it works and what it needs to perform better.

Each car comes with the owner’s manual. This booklet has all the information about the vehicle’s features and components. Therefore, it would be wise to study the manual since it’s the key to understanding the car better.

Besides the information about the vehicle’s features and components, the owner’s manual has information on when to service the car. It advises the best time to do so and which parts to change. With this information, you can call a mobile mechanic to service your vehicle if you don’t have the time to go to the shop.

2. Never Skip Scheduled Car Maintenance

Again, the information on when you should service your car is available in the owner’s manual. Car maintenance involves changing or replacing fluid, wires, spark plugs, and serpentine belts. It’s important to mention that scheduling maintenance services through your dealer might be best for the following reasons:

First, your dealer will use genuine parts and high-quality fluids when servicing your vehicle. They understand your vehicle’s needs to run smoothly and correct engine issues effectively. They also put a sticker on your car to remind you of your next maintenance service. Some dealers take a step further to remind you of your upcoming maintenance appointment via emails and phone calls. With such dealers, it’s nearly impossible to forget or fail to show up for car maintenance.

History is the second reason you should do car maintenance through your dealer. Working with the same mechanics means you have the entire service history, which might increase your chances of getting a better deal when reselling your car.

3. Maintain Clean Oil

Auto mechanic checking the car using tablet

With technological advancements, new vehicles today don’t have to change the oil and filter every 3,000 miles. Such vehicles are currently installed with high-efficiency engines, and the market is full of high-quality oil that can go for longer without changing. For example, with high-quality oil, vehicles can run for about 10,000 miles without requiring new oil.

Nevertheless, there’ll come a time when you must change the oil. When this time comes, avoid ignoring changing the oil since it’s among the best practices to keep your car functioning as it should. When the oil is dirty, it fails to lubricate your vehicle’s moving parts. As a result, severe damage can occur, interfering with how the car functions. Besides mechanical issues, failure to maintain your vehicle’s oil can strip you of your warranty rights.

It’s vital to understand that when to change your motor oil depends on the oil you use. If you use conventional oil, you might need to change it every three months. However, if your vehicle uses synthetic oil, it might take you from five to ten thousand miles before changing it. If you’re unsure of which type of oil your vehicle uses, contact your dealer to understand when you should change it.

4. Check The Tire Pressure

Besides the overall maintenance, checking your vehicle’s tire pressure is vital for your safety.

If your car doesn’t have a pressure sensor, it would be best to invest in a tire gauge for an easy tire pressure check. You can also check out the pressure at your nearest gas station.

The proper tire pressure prevents regular wear and tear while enhancing fuel efficiency. Perfect tire pressure will also help you know whether the wheels are correctly aligned.

5. Rotate The Tires

Car tires don’t wear out evenly because the front and back tires experience different kinds of weight. If you want the tires to wear evenly, rotate them every five to eight thousand miles.

6. Keep An Eye On The Battery

While current batteries might not require regular check-ups, it’s essential to check them from now and then. When you check your vehicle’s fluid, ensure to test the battery. Check out for any corrosion on the battery and take the necessary steps.

7. Understand The Warning Lights

Fortunately, vehicles have a way of communicating with their owners. When you see a warning light, don’t ignore it since the car is trying to tell you something’s wrong. A warning light might mean the engine is overly hot, the oil is low, or you need an engine check. Failing to heed the warning lights might lead to severe, costly mechanical issues.


Purchasing a new car is one thing, and maintaining it is another. Regardless of how expensive your vehicle might be, it would require on-time maintenance services. Failure to which it might develop mechanical issues that might require thousands of dollars to correct. And remember, the car maintenance checklist isn’t limited to the above; consult your dealer for more information on your new automobile maintenance checklist for a better-performing vehicle.


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