How to keep your car in top shape: a beginner’s guide to maintenance


Maintenance of your car may seem intimidating, but it’s quite manageable if you stay on top of it. Keeping your vehicle in good working order is critical to preventing more expensive repairs down the road and keeping you safe while driving. It’s important to remember that a little preventive maintenance can go a long way in keeping your car running smoothly. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

1. Do Regular Inspections

It’s also a good idea to do regular visual inspections of your vehicle for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks in belts and hoses, loose bolts, and rust spots on the body or frame. If you find any of these issues, it’s best to get them repaired immediately before they cause more severe problems. For example, a disconnected mass air flow sensor or cracked serpentine belt can cause your engine to overheat and fail. This could lead to costly engine repairs or even a complete replacement.

2. Change the Oil Regularly

Changing the oil regularly is one of the most important parts of keeping your car in top shape. Most cars need to have their oil changed every 3,000 miles or so, but this can vary depending on the make and model. Check your owner’s manual for more specific instructions. It’s also a good idea to check your engine oil level periodically so you know when it needs to be topped off. If you don’t feel comfortable changing your own oil, take it to a professional mechanic who will be able to do it quickly and correctly. Furthermore, they can also advise you on other preventative maintenance measures that should be done as well as whether any parts need replacing or repairs.

3. Check Your Tires

Tires are one of the most important safety components in your car. Be sure to check their air pressure, tread depth, and overall condition often. You can easily check your tire pressure using a simple gauge or a digital monitoring system. It is recommended that you do this at least once per month—more often if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions such as heat or cold. Your owner’s manual should also provide guidance on how much air pressure is ideal for your vehicle. The tread depth of your tires is equally important for ensuring safe driving behaviours. A tire’s tread helps it grip the road, disperse water from its surface, and generate traction when needed.

4. Follow the Recommended Maintenance Schedule

Your car’s manufacturer knows best when it comes to maintenance. That’s why they include a specific set of recommended maintenance intervals in the car’s owner manual. This is not just a suggestion; following these instructions can help you keep your vehicle running smoothly and prevent costly repairs down the road. Make sure to check your owner manual for the most up-to-date recommendations, as manufacturers may update their service schedules periodically.

5. Clean Your Vehicle Regularly

It’s essential to keep your car clean, both inside and out. This simple step can help it look great and improve its performance through the years. Washing off dirt, mud, and grime will also protect its paint job from corrosion due to salt or bird droppings. Regular waxing will ensure that the paint withstands the elements. Once a month vacuum your car’s interior once a month and tackle any hard-to-reach spots with a toothbrush or cotton swab. Don’t forget to check for hidden pockets of moisture in armrests, under seat cushions, or on the floor mats—and spot-treat mildew stains as soon as you find them.

6. Get to Know Your Mechanic

It’s always a good idea to find a mechanic you trust. Ask family and friends for recommendations, or look online for reviews of mechanics in your area. When visiting the shop for the first time, don’t be afraid to ask questions about their experience, qualifications, and fees to decide if this is someone you want to work with long-term. Make sure that they understand basic car maintenance as well as any special needs your vehicle may have.


Keeping your car in top shape doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Following the tips outlined above can help ensure that your car is running smoothly, efficiently, and safely for years to come. Regularly check all components of its system, follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, and get familiar with an experienced mechanic you can trust. By taking these simple steps, you can maintain your car so that it looks and drives like new for years to come.

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