Preventative maintenance is a list of actions you need to do to prevent various adverse incidents from happening to your car. For example, you would do these tasks to avoid a breakdown, discomfort, an expensive fine, or something else.
The goal is to keep yourself safe and secure while extending the life of your vehicle for as long as possible. Here is a comprehensive auto preventive maintenance checklist of things you need to do regarding your car.
1. Make Sure You Have Insurance
Home and car insurance are the first items that should go on the auto preventive maintenance checklist. A homeowner’s insurance policy protects you in case of an unfortunate natural disaster, theft, or something else. Some mortgage companies require their borrowers to purchase this type of insurance, while others allow such people to leave it as an option.
Vehicle insurance isn’t optional if you own and drive a vehicle. You must get an insurance policy that meets the minimum coverage for the state in which you live. You may even have to get comprehensive and collision coverage if you currently finance your car.
Some insurance companies offer bundles so that policyholders can get more than one type of coverage at a discounted price. You should ask your auto insurance provider if they offer such bundles.
However, it would be best if you took your time when choosing an insurance company. Don’t do business with the first one you read about because there may be better options. Perform a provider comparison and check for additional discounts you can grab from the provider you choose. You will save yourself an array of trouble and money if you look out for yourself that way.
2. Clean Out Any Junk in Your Car
Sometimes, life clouds people’s minds, and they let things get messy. That’s why cleaning out your car is the second item on the auto preventive maintenance checklist. Cleaning the car inside and out has several benefits to it.
For one, it can make the vehicle safer for you and any passengers you entertain inside the car. Secondly, it will keep your vehicle neat if you decide to resell it at some point. You’ll need to keep dirt, spills, and harmful items off floors and seats to preserve your vehicle’s pristine appearance.
You might have a lot to clean up if you’ve left your auto parked for a significant amount of time and stored things inside of it. In that case, consider looking into a dumpster rental to make cleaning the car much more manageable.
Professionals can bring the dumpster to your home and then take it away when you’re finished cleaning the vehicle. Dumpster rental companies have various sizes and pricing options for the units they provide to interested parties. You can contact one of these providers and ask for a quote to see just how much you will have to pay.
3. Find Out if You Need a Loan for Repairs
If your car breaks down, you will have no choice but to have it repaired. You will have several options when it’s time to pay for the work. One option is to pay straight cash for the work you need done.
Many people don’t have thousands of dollars for major repairs, however. Therefore, they have to get another party’s funds for the repairs. You may also need to get cash from a third party to pay for your auto repairs. A personal loan might be the answer to your repair bill payments. That’s why it’s on the auto preventive maintenance checklist.
Personal loans can come from your local bank, credit union, or a third-party financial company. You can apply for a personal loan that will cover the cost for the mechanic to fix your vehicle. To receive approval for this type of loan, you must have a fair to excellent credit score and proof that you can repay the advance.
You can use pay stubs to provide this proof to the issuing bank. If approved, you will need to make your monthly payments as you would with a credit card.
4. Check Your Car’s Wiring
Another essential item on the auto preventive maintenance checklist is having someone check your car’s wiring thoroughly. Wiring issues must be addressed quickly because they can cause various problems with your vehicle. These are some of the signs that your car has a wiring problem:
Electrical Components Act Strange
Random malfunctions are the first signs you might notice if you have electrical problems. For example, your radio might not function today but will return to normal the next day. You might see flickering or dim lights as well.
Repetitive Fuse Blowing
You most likely have an electrical problem if your fuses continue to blow just as quickly as you replace them. It’s possible that you have an issue with electronic enclosures or wiring if several items act strangely at once.
Another problem drivers often see when their wiring is bad is a problem starting the vehicle. You should have a reliable automotive mechanic test your electrical system to see where the problem lies.
It’s probably not a good idea to fix an electrical issue on your own. A technician can do it quickly and effectively so that you can get your vehicle back on the road.
5. Repair Your AC & Heating if Necessary
HVAC problems are some of the worst issues for a driver, which is why taking care of your system shows up on the auto preventive maintenance checklist. You can do things to keep your HVAC system in shape so that you have warm and cold air when you need it.
One of those things is an ‘AC service.’ During this service, a technician will test your system to see how much refrigerant you have in it and if you have leaks. You’ll have the opportunity to request that the technician refill the system and fix any other issues that he or she finds apparent.
In the worst-case scenario, you may need an entirely new ac installation. The heating install or cool air swap can be performed relatively quickly if you choose a technician with special training in HVAC systems. These are some common reasons you might have problems with your HVAC system:
Low Refrigerant is one reason you might have an issue with your AC system. This problem typically causes the air to blow warm. Unfortunately, it usually means a leak exists in the system if you are low on coolant. Thus, you will need someone to identify and then fix the leak.
A fuse can cause your HVAC system not to work correctly. Fortunately, a blown fuse is one of the least expensive heating repairs you’ll ever have to make.
Electrical issues can affect just about any system within the entire vehicle. Your HVAC system may just be the unlucky object of the car’s behavioral problems.
A faulty compressor may be why your car’s system isn’t working. This item is what sends the refrigerant through the AC system. No refrigerant gets through if it doesn’t work, and nothing gets cooled.
Clogged Air Intake
You might also have a problem with the car’s air intake system. Pinpointing the problem may take a few minutes, but you’ll figure it out.
The list mentioned above is not exhaustive, and there may be alternative issues causing your vehicular system to act as it is. Take your car to a mechanic as quickly as possible so that someone can pinpoint the correct problem.
6. Clean Your Car’s Carpets
Another item on the auto preventive maintenance checklist is to ensure that you have your vehicle’s carpets cleaned. There are many benefits to performing this task. One of them is that you can increase the value of your vehicle immensely.
Another benefit to cleaning your car’s carpets is that you can increase your level of accomplishment. You will have a certain level of pride about being someone who takes such care of your car.
Your passengers will appreciate that you take the steps necessary to keep your vehicle clean as well. Moreover, you might be able to get more money than you expected when you sell it because you will increase its value.
You can do carpet cleaning in one of two ways. You can hire another company to do detailing work that includes the carpets, or you can do the job yourself. You can buy or rent a portable upholstery and carpet steam cleaning unit that you can use on your car. You can also purchase fantastic chemicals that can leave your carpet smelling squeaky clean.
7. Upgrade Your Infotainment
Making sure that your vehicle’s infotainment system is up to par is yet another way to cross off items on your auto preventive maintenance checklist. You’ll need to take the system to a dealership at one point in time so that they can update and reprogram it.
That process will result in a much better music-listening experience and more accurate weather reports and traffic information. You should ensure that your antenna doesn’t show any physical signs of damage and you don’t need any other services. Trusted mechanics are there if you do, however.
8. Check Your Windows for Cracks
Cracks in the windows can cause you to fail inspections, and they can also put your windshield at risk of breaking at the first sign of real stress. Another problem a cracked window or windshield can cause is a certain level of discomfort.
You can lose hot or cold air through cracks in the windshield, and that issue can cause you or your passengers not to enjoy the atmosphere in your car. That’s why checking and caring for the windows is on the auto preventive maintenance checklist.
It would be wise for you to have someone check the windshield and all of your windows before your scheduled inspection. That way, you won’t have to experience any surprises when the time comes to have your car go through the inspection process. Instead, you will have the upper hand, and you can repair cracks or get your window replaced. There are many kinds of windows to choose from for a replacement.
9. Check if Your Garage Door Needs Work Too
Your garage door isn’t a direct vehicular problem, but it can still affect your quality of life. All you want to do when you return from a trip or work shift is open your garage door, park your car, get out, and go to bed. A faulty garage door can prevent you from doing that. Therefore, its care should be part of the auto preventive maintenance checklist. These are some of the signs that you might need garage door repairs:
The Door takes a Long Time to Open
If your garage door takes a long time to open, you could be dealing with a bad motor. You definitely need someone to look at it for you.
Door Won’t Open
A door that refuses to open is a surefire sign of a need for help. A number of problems could prevent it from opening, and you need someone to pinpoint the problem for you.
You Hear Strange Noises
Strange noises are another sign of a garage door that’s either broken or breaking. Any abnormal sounds should be cause for immediate concern.
Garage door contractors can visit your home and examine your door for issues. They can diagnose the problem and then help you solve it quickly.
The above-mentioned auto preventive maintenance checklist is not meant to be an exhaustive end-all list. It was created to guide you in the process of staying up to date with your car and give you somewhere to start.
You will no doubt have a much healthier car and a longer-lasting time with it if you use the above methods to stay up to date with vehicular care. You’ll also think of other things to do to make your car an even better vehicle.