When it comes to your car auto service, prevention is key. Basic upkeep is far less expensive than major repairs resulting from neglect. So, for the year 2024, we’ve compiled a comprehensive checklist to help you keep your vehicle in top shape.

For some reason, many people overlook basic maintenance on their cars. Their philosophy often seems to be, “It’s running fine, so why bother?” Excuses abound: “I simply don’t have the time” or “I’m not knowledgeable about cars.” However, neglecting essential maintenance can lead to various issues and potentially an early trip to the junkyard for your vehicle.

Basic Car Auto Service Safety Checklist:

Seatbelts: Check tension and belt buckle operation.

External Lights: Replace bulbs if necessary.

Handbrake: Ensure it can hold the vehicle on a slope.

Windscreens & Mirrors: Check for cracks.

Windscreen Wipers: Inspect for wear and replace if necessary.

Horn: Ensure it is functional.

Fluids: Check engine oil and coolant levels.

Tires: Verify correct pressures and inspect treadwear.

Spare Tire & Jack: Ensure they are operational and check the toolkit.


Performing regular safety checks on your vehicle is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Personal Safety: Ensuring that seatbelts are in proper working condition, lights are functional, and tires are properly inflated reduces the risk of accidents and injuries. Seatbelts, in particular, are your first line of defense in the event of a collision, while functional lights ensure visibility for both you and other drivers on the road.
  1. Vehicle Reliability: Regular maintenance checks help identify potential issues early on, preventing breakdowns and costly repairs. For example, checking fluid levels and tire condition can prevent overheating, engine damage, and blowouts, all of which can leave you stranded on the side of the road.
  1. Legal Compliance: Many safety features, such as seatbelts and functional lights, are required by law in most jurisdictions. Failing to maintain these components not only puts you at risk but also exposes you to potential fines or citations.
  1. Preventing Further Damage: Addressing minor issues early can prevent them from escalating into more significant problems. For instance, replacing worn brake pads prevents damage to the brake discs, which can be more expensive to repair or replace.
  1. Resale Value: Regular maintenance and safety checks can help preserve the value of your vehicle. A well-maintained car with a documented service history is more attractive to potential buyers and can command a higher resale price.
  1. Environmental Impact: Properly maintained vehicles are more fuel-efficient and produce fewer emissions. Regular checks ensure that your vehicle is operating at peak efficiency, reducing its environmental footprint.
  1. Peace of Mind: Knowing that your vehicle is in good working order provides peace of mind while driving, especially on long trips or in adverse weather conditions. It allows you to focus on the road and enjoy your journey without worrying about mechanical issues.


Fluids Checklist:

  • Engine Oil
  • Radiator Coolant
  • Brake Fluid
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Windscreen Washer Fluid
  • Clutch Fluid (for manual cars)
  • Gearbox Oil
  • Differential Fluid


Tires Checklist:

  • Tire Pressures
  • Treadwear and Depth
  • Spare Tire Condition
  • Car Jack and Tools


Lights Checklist:

  • Headlights
  • Indicators/Hazard Lights
  • Brake Lights
  • Reverse Lights
  • Park & Fog Lights


Other General Checks:

Radiator Hoses: Inspect for leaks and cracking.

Engine Air Filter: Ensure it is clean.

Battery: Look for corrosion around terminals.

Fan Belts: Check for looseness or squeaking on start-up.

Unusual Engine Noises: Listen for any abnormalities like ticking, hissing, or clunking.

Child Seats: Ensure correct installation, and if your car has ISOFIX anchors.


These recommendations provide a foundational overview of the maintenance your vehicle should undergo regularly to ensure a long and healthy engine life, keeping you safe on the road. If you have any further questions about your car auto service, feel free to reach out to us at Walker’s Automotive, your Modesto auto repair shop.