General Car Maintenance Checklist

Check your owner's manual for maintenance schedules specific to your vehicle. We've provided a general checklist here but if something doesn't feel right or the check engine light is on outside of these guidelines you should bring it in for a diagnostic check. 


Check monthly and replace bulbs immediately if dim or burned out.
Estimated Cost: *$10 to $20 per bulb. 


Check the tire pressure and tread once a month. 

Newer cars usually note the recommended tire pressure on a sticker inside the driver's door. This should also appear in the owner's manual. Most passenger cars will recommend 32 psi to 35 psi when the tires are cold (before you've driven or at least 3 hours after you've driven). Use a tire pressure gauge to compare the actual psi to the proper number and add air if needed.

Tire tread can be tested using a penny placed with Lincoln's head down inside the tread. If all of Lincoln's head is visible it's likely time to replace your tires.

Tires should be replaced as needed.
Estimated Cost: *$70 to $400 per tire, depending on the model.

Windshield Washer Fluid 🅐

The washer fluid reservoir is usually located under the hood on the left or right side. On older cars you can see the fluid level from the outside of the tank. If the tank is less than half-full or the dashboard light has come on, you'll need to refill it.

We include a top off of windshield wiper fluid when you get an oil change.

Estimated Cost: *$3 to $5 per gallon if bought in store.

Oil Change 🅑

Typically you want to have your oil changed every 3,000 miles if using regular oil. Some newer cars extend this figure to 7,000 miles. If using synthetic oil you should change it every 5,000-7,500 miles. A new oil filter should be installed when changing your oil.

Estimated Cost: *$25 to $80 with filter, depending on the model.

Tire Rotation

Rotating your tires can save them from uneven wear. Most tire manufacturers recommend a tire rotation every 5,000 miles. 

We include rotating your tires when you get an oil change.

Estimated Cost: *$15 for rotation outside of oil change service.

Brake Fluid 🅒

Your brake fluid should be checked with every oil change or at least once a year. Brake fluid deteriorates over time and should be replaced by a mechanic if it’s dark in color. If checking the brake fluid yourself be sure to clean off any dirt on the reservoir before opening the cap. Even a small amount of dirt falling into the fluid can cause major issues with the internal seals of the master cylinder and can lead to your brakes failing.

We check the brake fluid every time we do an oil change.

Change every 30,000 miles.
Estimated Cost: *$70 for fluid change.

Transmission Fluid 🅓

In some cars there is a dipstick under the hood, similar to the oil dipstick, and you can check the transmission fluid yourself. Other vehicles must be lifted in order to check the fluid in the transmission. If checking the fluid yourself the engine should be running. You want to check the quality (should be red not brownish and shouldn't smell burnt).

We check the transmission fluid every time we do an ail change.

Varies per vehicle, check owner's manual.
Estimated Cost: *$100 for fluid change.

Air Filter 🅔

We recommend replacing every 15,000 miles.

Estimated Cost: *$15 to $50.

Brake Pads

Don't let your brake pads wear below a quarter of an inch. If you let the brake pads wear down to the metal you risk ruining your brake rotors and ABS sensors (if the vehicle is equipped). 

Riding the brakes is a common driving mistake (lightly putting your foot on the brake pedal even when you don't need to slow down or stop). This makes your brakes wear much faster.

Replace every 30 to 40,000 miles (as long as you don’t ride your brakes).
Estimated Cost: *$120 to $175 total.

Battery 🅕

Check that the battery is fully charged once per year. A fully charged automotive battery should measure at 12.6 volts or higher (when engine is not running). If you don't have a voltmeter to test the battery yourself we can provide this service for you free of charge. 

Also, check for any corrosion on the terminals of the battery (a powdery substance usually either white, blue or green). This will degrade performance of the battery and can eventually cause electrical issues.

Replace every 4 to 5 years.
Estimated Cost: *$60 to $150.

Radiator Coolant 🅖

You should have your radiator coolant changed and your radiator flushed at least every 60,000 miles.

Estimated Cost: *$70 and up for drain and fill, depending on the model.

Windshield Wiper Blades

Streaking, not clearing the windshield fully or damaged rubber means it's time to replace your wiper blades. 

Replace every 6 to 12 months.
Estimated Cost: *$10 to $20 per blade.

Drive Belts and Hoses

Squealing sounds from the engine can mean worn, loose or damaged belts. Overheating can be caused by a damaged radiator/coolant hose.

We check the various belts such (e.g. alternator, power steering and A/C) and the coolant and heater hoses as apart of the regular vehicle inspection with every oil change.

Replace as needed.
Estimated Cost: *$20 to $70 per belt/hose.

The recommendations provided are general in nature and you should always follow the directions found in the owner's manual of your vehicle. All costs are estimates applying to most vehicles and are subject to change. Labor charges vary by service and will be included in your written estimate.

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