Keeping your car running smoothly doesn’t have to be a complex and time consuming task — it’s actually pretty simple if you follow a few basic steps. This guide will introduce you to the 12 most important car maintenance basics that everyone should know, so that you can keep your vehicle in peak condition with minimal effort.

Check the oil regularly.

Checking the oil regularly and topping it up is a great way to keep your engine working correctly and efficiently. Look for the dipstick, remove it, wipe it off with a cloth, and then reinsert it. Remove again and check the current oil level — if there’s less than half an inch of oil visible on the stick, you should top up your engine oil.

Keep the exterior clean.

Wash the exterior of your vehicle regularly and make sure it is free from dust, dirt and debris. Pay close attention to the wheel wells and underside of the car as these areas can build up road grime over time that can damage the paint. Waxing your car once or twice a year will help protect against scratches, chips, and fading from sunlight exposure.

Change air and fuel filters

Proper car maintenance includes changing your air and fuel filters on an ongoing basis. This helps to ensure the optimum performance of your vehicle while preserving its longevity. Air filters should be changed every 12,000 – 15,000 miles depending on the type and model of your car, while fuel filters need to be replaced every 30,000 miles or as recommended by the manufacturer. Follow these guidelines for best results and make sure to use top quality replacement filters that meet the specs of your particular vehicle’s make and model.

Inspect tire pressure and tread depth

Inspecting and maintaining proper tire pressure is an important part of car maintenance that should not be overlooked. This includes checking the tires for signs of wear and tear, such as deflation, flat spots, or any other visible damage. Regularly check the tread depth to ensure your tires are still gripping effectively and replace them once the tread has started to wear down too much. Additionally, rotate your tires regularly (which is usually every 5,000 – 10,000 miles) to extend their life and promote even tire wear.

Rotate your tires regularly

Regular tire rotation can help maintain the life and performance of your tires. Additionally, rotating your tires helps promote even tire wear, which will boost the overall performance and fuel efficiency of your car. Depending on the type of vehicle you have, rotate your tires every 5,000 – 10,000 miles or every 6 months as a part of regular preventative maintenance.