What to include in a car maintenance checklist that can effectively reduce accident risks?

A poorly-maintained vehicle is not a safe one. Regular maintenance can help keep you, your passengers, and others on the road safe. Drivers shared some of their maintenance checklists. Keep reading for suggestions on what you can do to keep your vehicle in safe working condition.
Dave Conway

Dave Conway

Co-Founder at EcoMotionCentral.com

Regularly Check Brakes, Tires, and Suspension

A car maintenance checklist should include the following items in order to reduce accident risks:

    1. Regularly check the brakes, tires, and suspension. Make sure the brakes are functioning properly, the tires are properly inflated, and the suspension is in good condition.

    2. Check the oil and other fluids. Make sure the oil and other fluids are at the appropriate levels and are changed regularly.

    3. Check the lights and signals. Make sure the headlights, brake lights, and turn signals are all functioning properly.

    4. Check the mirrors and windows. Make sure the mirrors and windows are clean and free of any obstructions.

    5. Inspect the exterior of the car. Look for any signs of wear or damage that could affect the car’s performance or increase the risk of an accident.

    6. Regularly check the battery and electrical system. Make sure the battery is in good condition and the electrical system is functioning properly.

You can guarantee that your car is in good shape and lower your chance of an accident by following these instructions.

Fluid Levels Examination

An effective car maintenance checklist must prioritize safety. It should include regular brake system checks, tire pressure and tread depth inspections, fluid levels examination, lights and signal functioning tests, windshield wiper functionality, and annual servicing for underlying issues. These ensure optimal vehicle performance, reducing the potential for accidents. Being proactive, not reactive, in maintaining vehicles can dramatically decrease accident risks.

Jarrod Partridge

Jarrod Partridge

Founder of F1 Chronicle.
Aaditya Bhatta

Aaditya Bhatta

Automotive expert at The Riding Kid.

Lighting and Visibility

A car maintenance checklist can help reduce accident risks by ensuring your vehicle is in optimal condition and operating safely. Here are the points you should include in your list:

    1. Regular Inspections:
    ● Check the engine oil level and quality.
    ● Inspect the coolant level and condition.
    ● Verify the brake fluid level and check for any leaks.
    ● Inspect the power steering fluid level.
    ● Check the transmission liquid level and condition.
    ● Inspect the windshield wiper fluid level.

    2. Tire Maintenance:
    ● Check tire pressure regularly and maintain proper inflation.
    ● Inspect tires for signs of wear, cracks, or bulges.
    ● Ensure that tire tread depth meets legal requirements.
    ● Rotate tires regularly to promote even wear.
    ● Check the spare tire’s condition and pressure.

    3. Brake System:
    ● Inspect brake pads and shoes for wear.
    ● Check brake rotors and drums for signs of damage.
    ● Ensure the brake lines are intact without any leaks.
    ● Verify that the brake pedal feels firm and responsive.
    ● Test the emergency brake for proper functioning.

    4. Lighting and Visibility:
    ● Verify the turn signals, brake lights, taillights, and all other lighting.
    ● Ensure that all lights are working correctly.
    ● Clean and adjust headlights for optimal visibility.
    ● Replace any bulbs that are burnt out.
    ● Clean the windshield and all windows for clear visibility.

    5. Electrical System:
    ● Inspect the battery for corrosion and secure connections.
    ● Check the alternator and starter for proper functioning.
    ● Test all electrical components, such as power windows, mirrors, and locks.
    ● Inspect the windshield wipers and replace worn blades.

    6. Suspension and Steering:
    ● Check for any unusual noises or vibrations while driving.
    ● Shocks and struts should be checked for leaks or other damage.
    ● Verify that the steering wheel is responsive and aligned correctly.
    ● Check the power steering fluid level and look for any leaks.
    ● Ensure that the suspension system provides a comfortable and stable ride.

    7. Safety Equipment:
    ● Inspect seat belts for proper functionality and any signs of damage.
    ● Check airbags and their indicators for proper operation.
    ● Test the horn to ensure it is audible and functional.
    ● Verify the functionality of the windshield defroster and heater.

    8. Regular Maintenance:
    ● Follow the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals.
    ● Regularly replace the oil filter and engine oil.
    ● As directed by the manufacturer, change the fuel and air filters.
    ● Maintain proper levels of all fluids, including coolant and brake fluid.
    ● Inspect and replace worn-out belts and hoses.

You can ensure that your vehicle is in top shape and lower the risk of accidents brought on by mechanical failures or neglect by adding these recommendations to your auto maintenance checklist and keeping up with them regularly.

Belts and Hoses

A car maintenance checklist to effectively reduce accident risks should be comprehensive and touch on all critical aspects of vehicle functioning. Here is an example of such a list:

    1. Tire Pressure. Incorrect tire pressure can cause poor mileage, uneven tire wear, or a tire blowout. Check your tire pressure monthly using a pressure gauge.

    2. Tread Depth. Inspect your tires for tread wear and replace tires that have worn down to the minimum tread depth specification.

    3. Brakes. Check the brake system annually, including brake linings, rotors, and drums. If the car is pulling to one side while braking or if you hear any unusual noises (like squeaking or grinding), get your brakes inspected immediately.

    4. Oil. Check the oil level monthly and change the oil as recommended in your vehicle’s owner manual.

    5. Coolant. Check coolant level regularly and refill if necessary. If the coolant level is frequently low, there might be a leak.

    6. Brake Fluid. Check the brake fluid level and ensure it is within the recommended range.

    7. Transmission Fluid. Check transmission fluid level and change it as recommended in your vehicle’s owner manual.

    8. Power Steering Fluid. Check and maintain the level of power steering fluid.

    9. Lights. Headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers, interior lights, and trailer lights. Check them regularly and replace any non-functioning lights.

    10. Windshield Wipers. If your windshield wiper inserts create streaks or don’t clean the glass completely in one sweep, replace them. Ensure the wiper fluid reservoir is full and does not have any leaks.

    11. Battery. Check battery terminals to ensure they’re clean and tightly connected. Batteries don’t always give warning signs before they fail, so it’s wise to replace batteries that are more than three years old.

    12. Belts and Hoses. Check the engine belts and hoses regularly for wear and tear. Replace them if you notice cracks or thinning.

    13. Air Filters. Dirty air filters can result in decreased fuel efficiency, engine performance, or air conditioning performance. Replace the filters annually or as recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer.

    14. Emergency Kit. Keep an emergency kit in your car, including a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, reflective warning signs, a tire gauge, foam tire sealant, jumper cables, flashlight, gloves, rags, duct tape, tow rope, utility tool, rain poncho, drinking water, and non-perishable snacks.

    15. Regular Inspection. Regularly have your vehicle thoroughly inspected by a professional. Even with regular self-checks, there might be issues only a professional mechanic can spot.

This checklist, when used regularly, can help you maintain your vehicle in top condition and reduce the risk of accidents caused by vehicle malfunction.

Andrew Kuttow

Andrew Kuttow

Editor-in-Chief of lambocars.com.
Gjorge Stinikliev

Gjorge Stinikliev

Recruiting Manager at Road Legends.

Battery Health

Maintaining a comprehensive car maintenance checklist can significantly reduce accident risks. Here are essential items to include:

    ● Regular Inspections: Check tires, brakes, headlights, taillights, turn signals, windshield wipers, and fluid levels regularly. Inspect belts, hoses, and filters for wear or damage.

    ● Tire Maintenance: Ensure proper tire pressure, tread depth, and alignment. Rotate tires according to the manufacturer’s recommendations to encourage uniform wear and top performance.

    ● Brake System: Inspect brake pads, rotors, and brake fluid regularly. Replace worn-out pads and address any brake-related issues promptly to maintain optimal stopping power.

    ● Fluid Checks: Regularly check and top up engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals for fluid changes.

    ● Lights and Signals: Verify that headlights, taillights, turn signals, and hazard lights are functioning correctly. Clean lenses for maximum visibility.

    ● Windshield and Wipers: Ensure a clear view by regularly cleaning the windshield inside and out. Replace worn wiper blades to maintain effective visibility during inclement weather.

    ● Battery Health: Check battery connections, clean terminals, and inspect for signs of corrosion. Test battery performance regularly and replace if necessary.

    ● Vehicle Documentation: Maintain a record of all maintenance and repairs performed.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors' statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.