Checklist: Do it yourself car maintenance
Regular maintenance is not only essential to make sure your car is safe to drive, but it can also extend the life of your vehicle.
Follow your car manufacturer’s recommended intervals for maintenance such as oil and filter changes. Our checklist will also help you ensure your vehicle stays in top shape.
- Check the tyre pressure. This should be checked at least once a week to boost both safety and fuel efficiency. Your vehicle handbook should tell you the correct air pressure for your tyres. Check the pressure at your local gas station or invest in a simple air pressure gauge that fits in your glove box.
- Check the condition of the tyres. The depth of tread on the tyres is an important factor in your vehicle’s safety. Your best bet is to purchase an easy-to-use tread depth gauge to help you monitor their condition. The legal minimum tread depth in Pakistan is 1.6mm, but aim for at least 2mm.
Every 2 weeks:
- Check your brake fluid and engine coolant levels. Remove the brake fluid reservoir cap to inspect the level, and if necessary top it up. Remember that very low brake fluid could indicate a bigger problem with your braking system, so it’s probably best to get the car to a mechanic. You should also check the engine coolant periodically, as running low on coolant can lead to serious engine problems.
- Check the oil. Once the car has cooled down, remove the dipstick and wipe it clean with a paper towel or rag. Replace the dipstick and remove it again, this time checking the oil level. If the level is low, more oil should be added before the car is driven again. The oil should be changed every 3000 miles or about every three months.
- Check your windscreen wipers. The wiper blades should clean your windscreen smoothly and improve your visibility. If they dirty the screen while in use, try cleaning the blades to remove dirt or other debris. They may need to be changed entirely, something you should aim to do at least once a year. Also use this opportunity to ensure the wiper fluid is working and top up the water level if needed.
- Check your lights. Inspect all of your lights – headlights, high beams, brakes – to ensure they are in working order and none of the bulbs have blown.
- Book a full service. A professional service will ensure the engine is working correctly, there are no problems with the brakes and the car is safe to drive. This should be done as often as your car manufacturer recommends. A good guide is to book a service at least every year, but older cars will require more frequent servicing.