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All-Season Vehicle Maintenance Checklist

There are small things you can regularly do to make sure your car has a long and reliable lifespan. Taking 10 minutes every month or two to go through a vehicle maintenance checklist may save you from being stranded on a cold, snowy night. Giving your vehicle a check-up, even if it's just a visual one, will help you catch any issues before they get worse so you can drive your car to your local service dealer instead of getting towed there.

Vehicle Maintenance Checklist

If you're not sure where to start, this vehicle maintenance checklist is designed to help remind you of what points to check. Also refer to your owner's manual for more information on how to check the oil, what ideal tire pressure should be or for additional manufacturer recommendations.

Creating an Emergency Roadside Kit

Kia's Roadside Assistance Program is there for you should you have an unexpected breakdown. But it's also good to keep a small emergency roadside kit with the following items:

  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Drinking water
  • Some non-perishable snacks like protein bars
  • Whistle
  • Rope for towing
  • Jumper cables
  • Road flares or warning light

Vehicle Maintenance Checklist for Spring Summer and Fall

Do a visual check of the following items:

  • Check the fluid levels in your car by following the instructions in your owner's manual
  • While the hood is open, look for cracked wires and hoses
  • Inspect the battery terminals for corrosion
  • Check the tire pressure of all tires and make sure they are at the recommended amount
  • Check the tires for cracks, bulges or uneven wear
  • Check under the car where it's been parked overnight and look for puddles that may point to a fluid leak (transmission fluid is pink, oil is black, coolant is bright green, brake fluid light brown)

Once you're driving, there are some other items you can test on from this vehicle maintenance checklist:

  • To test for brake adjustment, find a long, straight road, lessen the grip on the steering wheel and apply the brakes to see if the steering wheel jerks to one side or the other
  • To test wheel alignment, guide the steering wheel with a light grip and see if the vehicle is pulling to one side or the other instead of continuing in a straight line
  • You can check for failing wipers by activating the windshield wipers and spraying fluid on the windscreen to look for any streaks

Winter Vehicle Maintenance Checklist Items

Winter conditions can be harsh on a vehicle. The cold weather and shorter days mean more use of the battery to heat the car and use the lights. Icy conditions make driving more dangerous. Review the checklist items above plus:

  • Swap out to winter tires
  • Swap the wiper fluid to a winter non-freezing formula
  • Measure the tire pressure on days with big temperature changes
  • Check that all the instruments, heater controls and lights are all working properly

Add the following winter items to your regular emergency kit:

  • Blanket
  • Gloves
  • Windshield ice scraper
  • Bottle of windshield washer fluid
  • Compact shovel
  • Road salt

The items on this maintenance checklist will help you detect some of the more common car issues. If you notice something is wrong, take your vehicle to a service provider as soon as possible.

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