Car Care Tips

Car Care Tips for You

Maintaining your vehicle for safety, dependability, and value

Oil, Filters, Fluids

  • Engine Oil and Filter
  • Check level with engine off at every fill-up.
  • For maximum engine life, change oil and filter every 3 months/3,000 miles.

Chassis Lubrication

Many new cars are lubed for life – many others still require this service.
Steering and suspension components may require periodic lubrication.

Fuel Filter

Replace if restricted or water contaminated. Restricted fuel filters will shorten the life of the fuel pump.
Replace filter every 2 years/24,000 miles.

Engine Air Filter

Inspect filter at each oil change.
Replace annually or when torn, water or oil soaked, dirty or showing other signs of wear.

Automatic Transmission Fluid

Check fluid levels with the engine running and transmission in park or neutral, depending on manufacturer instructions.
For maximum performance, change every 2 years/24,000 miles.

Differential, Manual Transmission and Transfer Case (if equipped)

Check fluids at each oil change.
Replace fluids every 4 years/50,000 miles using factory recommended lubricant.

Windshield Washer Fluid

Check fluid level monthly.
Use washer fluid only.

Power Steering Fluid

Check fluid with the engine off using either “Full Cold” or “Full Hot” indicator lines on the dipstick.

If frequent topping off is required, inspect for leaks and replace if contaminated.
Replace fluid every 2 years/24,000 miles.

Cabin Filter

Replace annually, or more often in areas with heavy airborne contaminants or whenever heating or cooling efficiency is reduced.

Coolant (Antifreeze)

Check level at reservoir – never open a hot radiator cap.

If low, add 50/50 mix of approved antifreeze/coolant and distilled water.
Change coolant every 2 years/24,000 miles, on most vehicles.

Belts and Hoses

Inspect hoses at each oil change and replace when leaking, brittle, cracked, rusted, swollen or restricted.
Check the V-belts and serpentine belts for tension and condition.

Replace when cracked, frayed, glazed or showing signs of excessive wear.
Typically replace timing belt between 60,000 to 90,000 miles – not replacing the belt as required could cause a breakdown or serious engine damage.

Brake Service

Check the entire brake system every year; inspecting brake linings, rotors, and drums.

Brake Fluid

Check fluid with the engine off or running.
If frequent topping is required, inspect brake linings and check for brake fluid leaks.
Replace brake fluid every 2 years/24,000 miles.


Replace the oxygen sensor at the interval as recommended in your owner’s manual.
Some cars have an oxygen sensor replacement light that appears when replacement is needed – 1996 and newer cars have more than one oxygen sensor in the vehicle.

Typical spark plug replacement intervals range between 30,000 and 100,000 miles depending on the vehicle and type of spark plug.

Steering, Suspension, and Tires

Inspect steering and suspension system at least annually; including shocks, struts and chassis parts, such as ball joints, tie rod ends and other related components. Replace these parts if leaks, damage and loose mounting hardware are found.
Check the pressure of all tires, including the spare, monthly.

Check the tread for uneven or irregular wear and cuts or bruises along the tire sidewalls.

Inflated tires and maintain at recommended tire pressure.
Replace tires if worn or damaged.

Check Engine Light

If check engine light comes on while driving or remains on, your vehicle may have an emissions or sensor problem and should be analyzed or diagnosed by a certified car repair technician.

If the check engine light flashes, the condition is more severe and must be checked immediately to prevent catalytic converter or other major damage to your car.


To prevent stripping the vehicle’s wax finish, use only automotive car wash products, not dish-washing soaps and liquids.

Polish at least twice a year to maintain and protect the finish of your car.

Exhaust System

Inspect for leaks, damage and broken supports or hangers if there is any unusual noise.

Exhaust leaks can allow carbon monoxide gas into the passenger compartment of the vehicle.

Batteries and Cables

If the battery is three years old or more it should be tested and replaced if necessary.
The battery should be securely mounted.
The battery condition should be clean of debris, tight and corrosion-free.

Every 3,000 Miles

Change engine oil and replace the oil filter.
Perform multi-point inspection or have your car checked by a professional car technician.

Rotate tires every other oil change for optimal tire life.

Check your cars manufacture maintenance guide for specific instructions for your car.

Michael's Auto Repair

11780 N. 91st Ave
Suite 5
Peoria, AZ 85345

Phone: (623) 931-8888





MON 8:00AM - 5:30PM
TUE 8:00AM - 5:30PM
WED 8:00AM - 5:30PM
THU 8:00AM - 5:30PM
FRI 8:00AM - 5:30PM
SAT By Appointment Only