Time for an oil change?
If it's been three months or 3,000 miles since the last oil change, take your car to
the local service station and have it done professionally. Also, keep an extra quart of
oil in the trunk as you travel.
Visually inspect your
belts & hoses
Tugging on belts may not indicate wear or a need for replacement. Many of today's cars
have special devices which maintain the correct amount of tension on the belts, regardless
of the wear. Instead, take a close look for small cracks on your alternator, power
steering and other belts as well as on the man hoses. Belts typically should be replaced
every 20,000-30,000 miles.
Check your fluid levels
This includes your coolant, washer and power steering fluids. Replenish if low. Every year
or 15,000 miles or as recommended by the manufacturer, you should have your entire coolant
system flushed out
and adjust air pressure
A maximum PSI rating can be found on the tires. Check the door jambs for a sticker with
the manufacturer's recommended pressure or refer to the owner's manual. For an accurate
reading, check the pressure while the tires are "cold" or after your car has
been resting for about 30 minutes.
Inspect tires for uneven wear
The wear on your tires should be even, regardless of the actual amount of mileage. Uneven
tread may indicate bad alignment, worn steering components, or poor suspension, all of
which inhibit driving performance and lower your gas mileage.
Beware of the
"Spare Tire Surprise"
Check to make sure not only that you have your spare, but that it's fully inflated and
that you have the jack and tools to change it.