Car Maintenance Checklist

Ensure the roadworthiness of vehicles with a car maintenance checklist

Published April 30th, 2021

What is Car Maintenance?

Car maintenance is a proactive approach to preserve and maximize the performance of a vehicle. It is performed by car service technicians or fleet managers to prevent unexpected machine breakdowns that may lead to car incidents, property damage, or costly repairs.

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This article will briefly discuss the following:

Importance of Car Maintenance

Car maintenance is a crucial task, especially to fleet and service industries. It keeps vehicles running smoothly to avoid any operational delays and disruptions. Carrying out regular car maintenance helps businesses to:

  • address car issues even before they arise;
  • increase employee safety while on the road;
  • reduce the probability of car breakdown that may cause vehicle damages; and
  • save time and money on unexpected auto repairs.

What is a Car Maintenance Checklist?

A car maintenance checklist is a tool used by auto service technicians to keep track of car service schedules and eliminate unexpected defects and engine breakdowns. It helps prolong the operational condition of a vehicle, ensure roadworthiness, and promote safety by proactively catching issues before accidents can occur.

Auto Parts That Need Inspection Based on Car Maintenance Schedule

Car maintenance may vary depending on the needs of a vehicle. It can be performed regularly, monthly, or based on accumulated mileage. The following car maintenance schedule can help to identify vehicle parts or items that need to be inspected.

Basic Car Maintenance

Basic car maintenance can keep the vehicle running smoothly by visually checking the following items:

  • Engine lights – flashing engine lights is a sign that the electronic control system has run into a problem that needed immediate attention.
  • Brake – manually test brakes if there is a spongy feels or if it takes more pressure to apply the brakes than normal. Check if you can hear a strange reak sound.
  • Tires – check if the tire pressure light is “on” and inspect if the pressure is in a normal range. Visually investigate for a possibility of tire holes.
  • Lights – test for busted lights including the head, tail, parking, brake, and signal lights.
  • Wipers – check wiper blades for any signs of wear and tear and replace them if necessary.

Monthly Car Maintenance

Monthly car maintenance can keep the vehicle tuned up by replacing consumable items such as gas, oil, and other lubricants. It is important to check the following items monthly:

  • Engine oil – check the difference between the “low” and “full” markings using a dipstick. Replenish the engine oil if below markings.
  • Coolant – verify the level at the reservoir and fill up the coolant up to normal level.
  • Windshield wiper fluid – go through the level and top off if needed.

Car Maintenance Every 3 months or 3,000 Miles

When 3,000 miles is reached or after three months, whichever comes first, perform car maintenance and replace the following items according to the recommendation of manufacturers.

  • Automatic transmission fluid – check the level of transmission fluid, if it is low, add the appropriate transmission fluid type.
  • Power steering fluid – inspect the system for leaks, especially if topping off becomes frequent.
  • Engine air filter – replace the air filter if it is dirty, full of debris, or having discolorations.
  • Battery – check the battery if mounted securely and free from corrosion.
  • Belts – replace frayed or worn V-belts and serpentine belts.
  • Hoses – check if hoses are brittle, have leaks, or cracks then replace accordingly.
  • Exhaust – listen to exhaust systems and check if there is a strange noise. Check for leaks or damage.
  • Tire treads – replace the tire if the tire tread depth is 2/32” or less.

Car Maintenance Every 6 months or 6,000 Miles

When 6,000 miles is reached or after six months, whichever comes first, rotate your tires to extend their service life. Also, check the following items:

  • Engine oil and filter – Change engine oil and filter as it accumulates tiny bits of metal, dirt, and carbon over time that can cause excessive wear on the engine.
  • Chassis, steering, and suspension systems – lubricate these parts as needed.
  • Brake systems – Inspect the whole system including brake fluid, brake linings, rotors, and pads.
  • Spark plugs – look for busted plugs and replace them if necessary.
  • Timing belt – Replace the timing belt if there are signs of wear and tear.
  • Shocks and struts – Check if there is a decrease in smoothness or loss of control when driving.

How do Checklists Help With Car Maintenance Schedules?

A car maintenance checklist helps identify issues, defects, or any problem that arises on a vehicle. It helps secure vehicle roadworthiness to promote safety and operational efficiency.

Prioritizing car parts that need to be inspected depending on schedule will eliminate wasting time on checking the items that you don’t need to inspect at the moment. A car maintenance checklist can depend on car needs or maintenance schedule.

iAuditor by SafetyCulture is a cost-efficient digital solution that oversees and manages fleet conditions easily. With iAuditor you can:

  • promote driver, customer, and product safety by clearly identifying vehicle issues and taking corrective actions immediately.
  • conveniently perform car maintenance using phone or tablet even offline;
  • easily schedule car maintenance and be notified to never miss any set appointments;
  • efficiently get real-time updates when vehicle inspections are completed; and
  • document all inspections securely in the cloud, which is readily accessible anytime.


Jona Tarlengco

SafetyCulture staff writer

Jona has been part of SafetyCulture for more than 2 years contributing her experience in writing quality and well-researched content. She usually writes a topic about risks, safety, and quality.


Jona Tarlengco

SafetyCulture staff writer

Jona has been part of SafetyCulture for more than 2 years contributing her experience in writing quality and well-researched content. She usually writes a topic about risks, safety, and quality.