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42 Mechanic's Ways to Minimize Auto Repairs
and Prolong the Life of your Car

The average U.S. car life is about 10 years (or 100,000 miles). Most Americans neglect their automobile, but with proper maintenance, you can double and even triple the life of your car. Below is a check list to follow to achieve that goal.

Every two weeks:

1. Check engine oil. Add oil if needed using the correct viscosity.
2. Check radiator coolant level. Add water or anti-freeze if necessary.
3. Check paint for chips, deep scratches, or rust. Repair any damage.

Once a month:

4. Check battery fluid (in UNsealed batteries). Add water if necessary.
5. Check fluid in power-steering pump reservoir. Add fluid if needed.
6. Check air pressure in all FIVE tires. Add air if required.

Every 3 months or 3,000 miles (whichever comes first):

7. Oil Change.
8. Replace oil filter.
9. Check automatic transmission fluid level and condition. If necessary
    add additional fluid.
10. Check all drive belts (fan belts) on engine. Replace any if needed.
11. Adjust drum brakes with manual adjusters.

Every 6 months or 6,000 miles:

12. Check oil in differential and manual transmission. Add oil if needed.
13. Check brake fluid level in master cylinder reservoir. Add brake fluid if necessary.
14. Check pollution-control equipment. Make any adjustments if needed.
15. Check carburetor. Replace or make adjustments if necessary.
16. Replace spark plugs.
17. Check clutch for free play. Adjust if required.
18. Rotate the tires.
19. Check air conditioning sight glass (if any). Add refrigerant if required.
20. Grease all chassis fittings.
21. Have headlights aligned.
22. Lubricate all locks and hinges.
23. Wax car body.

Every 12 months or 12,000 miles:

24. Time for a major tune-up: Replace points, plugs, filters. Make any adjustments necessary to the carburetor, ignition system and pollution-control equipment.
25. Replace all air filters.
26. Replace all fuel filters.
27. Clean crankcase breather cap.
28. Flush radiator and heater core. Replace antifreeze.
29. Inspect brake linings. Replace if necessary.
30. Repack wheel bearings.
31. Check front-end alignment.
32. Tighten bolts on engine manifolds.
33. Have automatic transmission bands adjusted (if possible).
34. Adjust valve clearance (if required on your car).
35. Replace windshield wiper blades.

Every 2 years or 24,000 miles:

36. Replace automatic transmission fluid and filter.
37. Bleed brake system and replace brake fluid.
38. Replace PCV (positive crankcase ventilating) valve.

Every 3 years or 30,000 miles:

39. Replace oil in differential and manual transmission.
40. Replace all cooling system and heater hoses.
41. Test ignition cables and replace if needed.

Every 50,000 miles:

42. Replace catalytic converter (on cars so equipped).

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