Many of us tend to think of cars as devices whose sole purpose is to get us from “Applebee’s” to “Best Buy”. The truth is cars are more like friends who give of themselves every day to get us to our destinations and back safely. All they ask in return is we keep them fed and pay attention to their health needs. Yeah, that’s a lot for a friend to ask, but how many of your other friends will let you climb aboard their backs to get to work every morning?
OK, so now we got that settled, here’s the deal; there really is no such thing as a bad car anymore. If you see a car broken down on the side of the highway, odds are its owner neglected its maintenance. In the owner’s manual that came with your car is a maintenance schedule, detailing when every mechanical component of the car should be inspected, adjusted and/or replaced.
Follow that schedule religiously, your car will pretty much run forever.
Different aspects of the car should be checked at different intervals. If you just got the car brand new, you can pretty much count on the dealer to have made sure all is in order. However, it wouldn’t hurt to check it out yourself for a couple of reasons; (1.) To make sure everything is optimal, and (2.) To learn where everything is.
If you just bought the car used, you should check everything on the following list immediately to establish a baseline. Then, you should follow a regular car maintenance checklist according to the schedule outlined in the owner’s manual. If you don’t have the owner’s manual, or for some reason can’t get one for your car, the following guidelines will keep you out of trouble for the most part.