Everyone knows the importance of regular oil changes, but there's more you can do to keep your car in top shape. Routine maintenance will ensure your car runs smoothly and help you avoid costly repairs. The items here are listed by recommended timeframes, but check your car's manual for specifics. Monthly Once a month, check your fluid levels and top off as necessary. Inspect the air filter for excess debris and dirt. Ensure the tire pressure is right and check the tread depths for wear. Examine headlights, brake lights, and turn signals for any problems or burnt-out bulbs. Every Few Months The exact amount of time varies by car, but you typically need an oil change every few months. The filter should be changed as well. Take this opportunity to examine all the belts and hoses. Every Six Months Have your tires rotated and wheels balanced about every six months so that they wear evenly. Inspect the brakes at the same time. Give your car a good wash and wax to keep it looking nice and stave off rust. Every Year Replace your windshield wipers every year or if you notice they're not working as well. Check the battery to ensure it's still holding a charge. In the spring, examine your air conditioner to make sure it's functioning properly before the warmer weather. Long-Term Transmission fluid should be changed every 50,000-60,000 miles, or more often for manuals. In all-wheel or four-wheel drives, transfer case fluid needs changed every 30,000 miles. Check your car's manual to see how often you need new spark plugs. Replace belts and hoses between 60,000-100,000 miles before they have a chance to break. Take Care of Your Vehicle Practicing regular maintenance goes beyond routine oil changes. Checking parts and replacing them before there's an issue will save you from costly breakdowns. As long as you take care of your car, it will run smoothly for years to come. If you need vehicle maintenance, we invite you to bring your vehicle to our Rainier Automotive today!