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Right now I just get a car wash every month, and my oil changed and whatever is included in that. Usually just a quick "inspection". Is there anything else I should be doing for my car?

Or also, is there any general "checks/inspections" I should do on my own every so often?

Things I should replace?

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3 Answers

You should also check your battery condition every oil change especially if you live in an area with a cold winter, you will neeed a battery tester to do this. Along with fluid levelks you should check condition, if they're brownish or dirty coloured they will require a flush, you can also purchase a guage to test you coolant strength. (its quite inexpensive.) You should esprecially check your coolant to make sure its strong enough if your in an cold environment. Make sure to check your tire pressures monthly or if you have a decent fluctuation in temperature of the weather.

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As Bob says, formal servicing should always follow the manufacturer's schedule - Make sure to take into account any variations suggested for your location/climate/usage pattern. This should include routine things like oil and filter changes, as well as more major, but less frequent things such as timing belts.

In terms of more general checks and inspections, you should generally check all the lights, wipers, fluid levels and tyres every week or two (depending on how much you use the car - one suggestion I've heard a few times is "every time you fill the fuel tank" as a rough guide).

Wipers should be replaced every 6 months or so, and tyres when they get down to around 3mm (1/8") of tread. Bulbs should be changed as soon as possible when they have failed - in many countries it is illegal to drive with any non-functioning lights on the car*. Any minor leaks found during these routine checks should be dealt with as soon as is sensibly possible, before they develop into major leaks! The exception to this is any leaks, however minor, in the brake hydraulics - if this occurs, unless you know what you are doing, stop using the car immediately and seek experienced help.

I usually check brake pads slightly less frequently than this - about once a month or so.

*Some countries also require you to carry a full set of spare bulbs, and this is sensible regardless of where you are...

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The short answer is that you should always be guided by the maintenance schedule by the calendar set forth in your owner's manual. It will have a detailed calendar based on your usage profile and setting forth major items based on miles or dates, depending on what's most appropriate. Using my car as an example, there's a moderately major service required at 30K miles, followed by a definitely major service at 60K miles.

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