Vehicle System or Component Check Monthly Check Every 5,000 KM Service Notes
Automatic Transmission Fluid   Check your transmission fluid while the engine is running. The fluid on the dipstick should be pinkish and almost clear. If the levels are low, add the amount specified in owners' manual and/or on dipstick. If it looks or smells burnt or has particles in it, have a mechanic drain and change the fluid.
Battery and Cables   Clean the battery terminals on the top of the battery every three months or so with a wire brush. Also, ensure the terminals are nice and tight to prevent power drainage. If your car's battery is three years old or more, it should be tested twice annually to avoid unexpected breakdowns.
Belts   Check every 6 months/6,000 miles for looseness and condition. Replace when cracked, frayed, glazed or showing signs of excessive wear. Replace timing belt per interval specified in owner's manual. Typically this is 60,000 to 90,000 miles. Not replacing the belt as required could cause a breakdown or serious engine damage.
Brakes and Brake Fluid     The brake fluid reservoir is on top of the master cylinder. Fluid levels will drop slightly as the brake pads wear. If the level drops noticeably over a short period or goes down to about two thirds full, have your brakes checked as soon as possible.
Cabin Air Filter     Cabin air filters clean the incoming air and remove allergens, and should be replaced every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, or per the owner's manual. A dirty or clogged cabin air filter can cause musty odors in the vehicle and cause containment's to become so concentrated in the cabin that passengers actually breathe in fumes and particles.
Chassis Lubrication   Chassis lubrication is something should be performed during an oil change service or at least every 3,000 to 6,000 miles. Replacement steering and suspension components may require periodic lubrication. If grease begins to leak out of the joint, you may have increased wear of the chassis part and possibly a shorter lifespan of that suspension component.
Check Engine Light On   Pay attention to whether or not the vehicle runs or drives any differently when the Check Engine Light illuminates. If vehicle performance does change, drive the car as little as possible and take it to be checked by a service professional as soon as possible. If there is no change in vehicle performance, you can drive home, but have it inspected as soon as possible.
Coolant (Antifreeze)   You should check your coolant level a couple times a year to make sure there are no leaks in your system. Your Antifreeze/Coolant only needs changing every two or three years, unless the manufacturer's recommendations suggest otherwise. If the fluid level in the radiator system is low, or empty your engine will over heat and it could cause damage to your car.
Engine Air Filter   A dirty air filter can cost you up to 7% of your gas mileage. It is important to clean the air filter, at least every 5,000 miles, and replace it every 15,000 miles.
Engine Oil and Filter Oil changes are scheduled every 3,000 miles. Check the engine oil regularly, especially if you notice that the oil level drops between the oil changes. The engine oil cools and lubricates the engine. Driving with very low oil level can cause engine problems.
Exhaust   You might have exhaust or emissions trouble if your car is hard to start, runs rough, or if it is noisy or smoking. Your vehicle manufacturer recommends having your emission system checked out by a qualified technician every six months or 6,000 miles.
Fuel Filter   A clean fuel filter keeps the gas flowing. Even a partially clogged filter puts added strain on the fuel pump. That can shorten its life and result in a costly repair. On carbureted cars, replace the filter once a year. On cars with fuel injection, replace the filter every two years or 35,000 Km.
Hoses   Hoses showing obvious signs of wear such as cracks, cuts, stiffness, bulges, excessive softness, or abrasions should be replaced immediately. They can be conveniently replaced when it is time to flush the cooling system and install new coolant.
Lights   Keep headlights, taillights, and signal lights clean. External dirt and debris can dim these lights and prevent others from seeing them. If you detect any problem with your car's lights, have them checked immediately.
Power Steering Fluid   Check your owner's manual to see if your car has full hot and full cold indicators, as the fluid level will vary depending on whether the engine is cold or hot. Check the level of power steering fluid as often as you check your other fluid levels. Take a moment to look around the reservoir and pump to be sure you do not have a leak.
Shock Absorbers and Struts   If you notice uneven wear on the treads of your tires, it is a safe bet that your shocks or struts are on their way out of commission. If your car is swaying, rolling in corners (body roll), or bouncing down the road when you hit bumps, it is probably time to check your shocks and struts.
Tire Inflation and Condition   The recommendation for correct air pressure is found on the placard label, as well as the owner's manual. When checking the pressure, also look for cuts or damage to the tread and/or tire. The minimum replacement time recommended by the NHTSA is six years regardless of use, with 10 years being the maximum.
Windshield Washer Fluid   If your washer fluid level is low, use a funnel to fill the reservoir bottle with more fluid. If the washer stops working, chances are you have a leak or the motor has died, and it will need further inspection.
Wiper Blades   Inspect wiper blades often for wear and damage. Be sure to replace with new blades every six months, or more often if needed. In addition to inspecting the blades, turn on your washer and wiper systems to find out how well the wipers clear liquid from your windshield.