You don't have to be a real grease monkey to keep your car in good shape. Many normal maintenance tasks are simple enough once you have the right tools and proper instructions. If you want to keep your car in good shape, and avoid costly repairs, then doing simple maintenance is the way to go.

Before You Get Started

Before you attempt any sort of maintenance you need to have a few things: tools and the owner's manual.

You don't need to have lots of specialty tools. You do need to have a set of screwdrivers, wrenches, rags, and work gloves.

If the owner's manual for your car is missing, you can find one online.

#1: Check The Oil and Different Fluids

This is very important. If the fluids run low, you risk damaging the car or putting yourself in danger. Here are the most important fluids to check:


You can check the oil without using any tools. The oil is checked with a dipstick. You take it out, wipe it clean, then place it back into the engine. When you withdraw it again you will check to see where on the stick the oil sits. There will be markings on the dipstick to indicate if the car needs oil.

If you need to add oil you might want to use a funnel. You don't have to, but if you spill oil on the engine when putting the oil in it will cause smoke later on.

Radiator Coolant

If the radiator runs low on coolant, your car will overheat. You don't use a dipstick to check the radiator. You unscrew the reservoir cap and look inside. The reservoir should have markings indicating the height the coolant should come up to. If its low, you need to add more.

Transmission Fluid

You won't add transmission fluid if it is low, you will have to bring it in to a service station. You can check the fluid though.

You check the transmission fluid in the same way as engine oil. You use a dipstick and then wipe and check. What you are looking for is a color change. Check your manual for the correct color. If the color is too dark, or has a burnt smell, then you need to have it checked out by a professional.

Wiper Fluid

Don't forget windshield wiper fluid. If your windshield gets dirty, visibility is obstructed. This is dangerous. Windshield wiper fluid is checked by opening the reservoir and looking in. If it's low, you pour more in using a funnel.

Check Your Batteries

Sometimes car batteries can fail even when they have a charge. This is because the terminals are corroded or dirty. The way to avoid this is to periodically check the battery and see if there is corrosion. If there is corrosion around the terminals, then you need to clean them off. You should also check to see if there is any leakage from the battery. If there is, you will need to get a new battery.

Talk to experts, like Hub Auto Supply, for more information.