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conquer car care

Whether your car is brand new or has been around the block, mechanical problems will arise. But by being proactive, you can head off a lot of headaches. This MasterKit will guide you through some common repair scenarios, help you find a trustworthy mechanic and ensure you're not getting taken for a ride.
Checking Tire Pressure
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Master Your Car's Maintenance Schedule

Find out what you should look for at each car maintenance milestone to keep your vehicle running smoothly.

The key to keeping your car in top condition? Routine and preventative car maintenance. Whether it's fresh off the lot or 10 years old, regular car maintenance is important for the longevity of your vehicle, as well as your wallet, as it can help you avoid bigger problems later. Here are some common things to keep an eye on. Check your owner's manual for your car's recommended maintenance schedule, which probably looks something like this:

Every 3,000 miles
Check the condition of the following parts every 3,000 miles you drive. Replace and repair as necessary.
  • Automatic Transmission Fluid
  • Battery and Cables
  • Belts
  • Engine Air Filter
  • Engine Hoses
  • Engine Oil and Filter
  • Exhaust System
  • Fuel Filter
  • Lights
  • Lug Nuts
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Windshield Washer Fluid
Pro Tip: Your tire pressure and tread depth should be checked every 1,000 miles. If you don't check them yourself, make sure your mechanic does.

Every 6,000 miles
In addition to performing all of the 3,000 mile inspections and repairs, every 6,000 miles you should also check:
  • Cabin Air Filter
  • Chassis Lubrication
  • Engine Coolant
  • Tires for Tire Rotation
  • Wiper Blades
Pro Tip: Clean cloudy headlights with toothpaste. It works just as well as expensive headlight cleaning solution, without the cost.1

Cloudy headlights? Clean them with toothpaste. Get more car maintenance tips & milestones here:
Every 12,000 miles
This car maintenance milestone is your car's annual check-up. In addition to inspecting and repairing all of the 3,000 mile and 6,000 mile maintenance items, you should also do the following every 12,000 miles:
  • Air Conditioning System
  • Brakes
  • Spark Plugs
  • Steering and Suspension
  • Timing Belt
  • Wheel Alignment
Pro Tip: Use your owner's manual to locate your air filter, and clean it in between replacements to keep your engine clean and get proper gas mileage.

Some parts, such as transmission fluid or shocks and struts, only need to be replaced at longer intervals anywhere from every 30,000 to 50,000 miles. Every car is different, so let your owner's manual be your guide.
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