Yearly Car Maintenance Checklist for 2024

December 29, 2023 Automobile

Properly maintaining your vehicle is essential, not only to protect yourself and your family from mechanical failures and expensive repairs but also to prevent a serious car accident. Not only could an accident resulting from poor vehicle maintenance cause injuries to yourself, your family, and others on the road, but it also leaves you liable for damages, including property damage and medical expenses.

If you own a car, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the yearly maintenance your car requires as well as short-term checkups so it can function at its best.

Short-Term Checks for Vehicle Maintenance

By performing routine checks on your vehicle and making minor additions and adjustments, you can help keep all of its important systems in optimal operating condition. If you can’t perform this monthly maintenance yourself, you can have a mechanic check the following key components at least every change of season:

  • Check your oil and coolant levels and add fluid if necessary to ensure proper engine function. Routine checks at least during seasonal changes if not every month as well as before long trips help protect against serious damage to your car’s critical engine and cooling systems. Make sure to do this while the engine is cool.
  • Make sure your car’s air filter is free of debris and change it regularly according to the instructions in your car’s manual.
  • Perform frequent visual checks on your tires to inspect the air level and tread condition. Check your tire pressure monthly if possible, or at least with every change of season. Tire pressure commonly drops with sudden cold temperatures.
  • Change your oil and oil filter every three months or at every 3,000 or 5,000 miles depending on the recommendation in your car’s owner’s manual. This is also when you should rotate your car’s tires to ensure even wear on the treads.
  • Check your vehicle’s lights to ensure that all are functioning, including headlights, taillights, turn signals, and parking lights. Check your headlight beams at night every few months to make sure that the beams are properly positioned and not jostled out of place to a lower or higher than recommended level. Have a companion look at your car while you tap the brakes to ensure the brake lights work. Functioning brake lights are critical to avoid rear-ending accidents.
  • Change your tires for the winter and summer seasons in cold weather climates.

Make sure you keep a detailed maintenance record on your vehicle so you’re able to prove that your car is well maintained to protect yourself against liability.

Yearly Maintenance Checks to Perform on Your Vehicle

Once a year, a vehicle needs to undergo a more in-depth checkup for annual routine maintenance. Unless you are an experienced mechanic, the following yearly maintenance jobs should be performed by a licensed mechanic, preferably at your car’s dealership:

  • Check and change your vehicle’s transmission fluid. If your vehicle is a four-wheel drive, have the transfer case fluid level checked as well to protect against leaks.
  • Have your vehicle’s shocks and struts checked
  • Have your vehicle’s coolant system flushed and replaced
  • Replace the spark plugs
  • Check the serpentine belt for wear or rot and replace it if needed
  • Check and lubricate the front and/or rear differentials and change the fluid as often as recommended by the manufacturer
  • Perform a battery check
  • Replace the windshield wipers

Your car’s dealership or repair shop should keep a meticulous record of your vehicle’s yearly maintenance. Be sure to obtain a copy for your records.

All car owners have the duty to have regular routine maintenance tasks performed on their vehicles. Breaching this duty may be an act of negligence that leaves the driver liable for damages to others in a car accident. Contact our Encino car accident lawyers today to ensure your rights are protected.

Free Consultation

  • Fields required *
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.