Back-to-School Car Maintenance Checklist

If you or your kids are heading back to class this fall, now is a great time to do a maintenance check on your vehicle to make sure it’s ready for all those upcoming trips to school.

Back to school car maintenance checklist - liste de controle d entretien du vehicule pour la rentree

Checking Fluids

Start your maintenance routine by checking the quality and level of your car’s fluids. This includes oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and coolant. If any of the fluids have changed colour or their levels are too low, replace and/or replenish them as needed. Checking your fluids only takes a few minutes and can make a major difference in how your car runs, so don’t skip it!

NAPA Premium Synthetic Oil

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NAPA 50/50 Coolant

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Inspecting Headlights

Over time, your headlights will begin to fade, so it’s important to maintain them to keep your view of the road clear. If your headlights are looking dim, you may need to change the bulbs. If the brightness is still low or the lenses look scratched up, consider restoring the headlights.

Sylvania LED Headlights

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Rust-Oleum - Wipe New Headlight Restorer Kit

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Brake Servicing

A car maintenance checklist is not complete without this step because brakes are so important to everyone’s safety.

Depending on how often you drive and what kind of brake pads you have, you should inspect your brakes for wear every four to six months or at the beginning of every season. Check out this guide on how to service your brakes. You’ll also find information on how to do system and operational checks on your brakes and how to pick the right brake parts for your car.

Tire Assessment

Make a note to inspect your tires on a monthly basis to confirm they’re inflated properly and not showing signs of excessive wear or punctures. Depending on how they’re cared for and where they’re driven, most tires will last three to six years. If one of your tires looks damaged, replace it with a new one. Sometimes rotating your tires is all you need to do to extend their lifespan.

Battery Maintenance

Another important—and often forgotten—item on a car maintenance checklist is your battery. You can easily maintain your car battery by inspecting and cleaning it every six months. Most batteries in gas-powered vehicles need to be replaced every three to five years.

Aside from regular maintenance, you can extend your battery’s life by changing your driving habits. Keeping the charge level between 20% and 80%, avoiding driving or parking outside in extreme temperatures, and limiting the number of short trips you make can help your battery last longer.

Clore Automotive Battery Charger / Maintainer

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GUNK - Battery Terminal Cleaner & Protector

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Changing the Wipers and Windshield Washer Fluid

Your windshield wipers should be changed every six to twelve months, even if they haven’t been used much. The best time to change your blades is at the beginning and end of winter, but it’s still a good idea to check on them every few months to make sure they’re in good condition. If they need a change, follow this guide on how to replace the wipers yourself.

Also remember to top up the windshield wiper fluid. Depending on where in Canada you live, it may already be cold enough before school starts to switch to fluid more suitable for colder weather.

Make sure you’ve got the right blades and wiper fluid for your car and environment.

NAPA Exact Fit

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NAPA - All-Season Windshield Washer Fluid

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Car Maintenance Checklists Keep Maintenance in Check

Creating a regular maintenance routine—and adapting your checklist to the season—is the best way to get the most out of your vehicle. For more information on how to maintain your car, consult your owner’s manual.

You can find other DIY guides and maintenance tips on our blog. If you have any questions, contact your local NAPA Auto Parts store to speak with a professional.

1 Reply to “Back-to-School Car Maintenance Checklist”

  1. Colin MacGregor says:

    Great advice. Sadly most people tend to ignore those tips until it’s to late and a few dollars can turn into a few thousand very quickly.

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