Monthly Car Maintenance: 6 Effortless Tasks

No car owner likes to have their vehicle break down on the side of the road. But taking simple, preventative steps now can save you from major headaches later.

What monthly maintenance should I do on my car? Check the engine oil level, inspect belts and hoses, check tire pressures, inspect battery terminals, check wiper blades, and inspect any fluid leaks.

With a few accessible monthly practices, you can know your car remains in top working order. No matter how far that last road trip might have been.

In this detailed blog article, I’ll review six must-dos for any monthly car maintenance routine so you and your vehicle stay safe even miles away from home and garage.

Check the Engine Oil Level

Checking the engine oil level effectively keeps your car running effortlessly and avoids potential internal parts problems.

monthly car maintenance

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By checking the oil level every month, you can ensure the engine has enough lubrication to function correctly. And don’t worry; it is easy to do.

Firestone recommends parking your car on level ground to ensure you get an accurate reading. Shut off the engine and wait 10 to 15 minutes to cool down.

Locate the oil dipstick, pull it out, clean it, and reinsert it. Pull it out again and check the oil level. If it is low, add more oil as needed.

Take a few minutes each month to check the engine oil level. Doing so will allow you to keep your car in top condition for years.

Inspect Drive Belts and Radiator Hoses

Your monthly car maintenance routine should include inspecting the drive belts and radiator hoses. These essential parts play a huge role in the overall function of your vehicle.

The drive belt, also known as the serpentine belt, powers many of the engine’s major components. The alternator, power steering pump, water pump, and air conditioning compressor all function together in concert.

Any wear or tear on this belt can lead to severe issues.

Similarly, the radiator hoses carry coolant throughout the engine to prevent overheating.

According to AutoZone, when a radiator hose collapses, it can lead to several problems—a decrease in engine performance, possible overheating, and potential damage to the engine itself, for starters.

Taking just a few minutes each month to inspect these components can save you costly breakdowns in the future. Don’t neglect your drive belts and radiator hoses. Please give them the attention they deserve during your monthly car maintenance routine.

Check Tire Pressures and Tread Depth

One key aspect of monthly car maintenance is checking tire pressures and tread depth. These might seem like small details, but they significantly affect how your car handles and how long the tires last.

You can avoid dangerous blowouts and improve your car’s performance by ensuring that tires are correctly inflated and have enough tread.

On average, 32 psi (pounds per square inch) to 35 psi is the correct tire pressure when a tire is cold, reports

Tire pressure is best checked when cold because as tires roll along the road, friction between them and the pavement generates heat. This increases both the temperature and the air pressure inside the tire.

In the United States, tire tread depth is measured in 32nds of an inch. New car tires typically start with 10/32” or 11/32” tread depths, states Bridgestone Tire.

The U.S. Department of Transportation recommends replacing tires when they reach 2/32” tread remaining. Many states legally require tires to be replaced at this depth.

So grab the necessary gadgets and take a few minutes monthly to check tire pressures and tread depth. It’s a small step that can make a significant impact.

CIC Pro Tip: Monthly car maintenance will go a long way in keeping your car on the road for many years.

Monthly Car Maintenance at a Glance

Maintenance Task Frequency Description
Check Engine Oil Level Monthly Open the hood and use the dipstick to check the oil level.
Inspect Belts and Hoses Monthly Look for any signs of wear, cracks, or fraying on belts and hoses.
Check Tire Pressures Monthly Use a tire pressure gauge to ensure all tires are properly inflated.
Inspect Battery Terminals Monthly Examine battery terminals for corrosion and ensure they’re tightly connected.
Check Wiper Blades Monthly Check wiper blades for wear and tear, replace if necessary.
Inspect Fluid Leaks Monthly Look under the car for any signs of fluid leaks, such as oil or coolant.

Inspect the Electrical Battery Terminals

As a responsible car owner, keeping up with monthly car maintenance tasks is essential. One of these tasks that often goes overlooked is inspecting the electrical battery terminals.

Regularly checking these small but essential parts can prevent a host of issues down the line, such as difficulty starting the vehicle or even a dead battery.

Thankfully, inspecting the terminals is a relatively simple process. Look at the battery and ensure the terminals aren’t worn or corroded. If they are, take the time to clean or replace them as necessary.

When cleaning, remove the connecting cables, first black, then red. Apply baking soda over the entire area that’s affected by corrosion. This will neutralize the battery acid, says Jaguar of Englewood.

Add a small amount of water to activate the baking soda and cause a chemical reaction to remove the corrosion. Clean and dry the area with a paper towel, and clean up any residue using a scrub sponge. Reattach the cables in reverse order.

By regularly inspecting the electrical battery terminals, you can avoid unnecessary malfunction and ensure that your vehicle is always starting painlessly.

Check the Windshield Wiper Blades

Keeping your car in tip-top shape is not just suitable for your vehicle and safety.

The windshield wiper blades are one of the most frequently overlooked areas of monthly car maintenance. These parts are responsible for keeping the forward field of vision clear in inclement weather.

But fear not because checking the wiper blades is quick and easy and only needs to be done as part of your monthly car maintenance routine.

However, if you notice streaks or missed spots on the windshield during rain or snow, it is time to replace the windshield wiper blades.

While it may be tempting to choose the cheapest option, don’t waste your money. Investing in a high-quality brand name that will last longer is essential.

A better-performing blade can also prevent scratches or damage to the windshield. Unpleasant high-pitched noises shouldn’t accompany wiper blade operation, suggests Trico Products.

Add this inspection to your monthly car maintenance check to make sure the wiper blades are in good working order. Then, you’ll be ready to face whatever Mother Nature throws your way on the road.

Check for any Apparent Fluid Leaks

As devoted car owners, we understand the importance of keeping our vehicles in excellent condition. That’s why we perform monthly car maintenance to check for potential problems before they become more significant.

One fundamental aspect of this routine is to check for any apparent fluid leaks under the car. Seeing fluids underneath the vehicle can be concerning, whether a few drops of oil or a bright-colored puddle.

Knowing how to identify common automotive fluids can help you identify the source of the leak and hopefully get the issue repaired quickly, suggests Allstate.

A fluid leak could indicate a problem with the engine, transmission, steering, or braking system. These are all significant components that are necessary for safe and efficient driving.

Inspecting your car regularly gives you a better idea of its overall condition and can address any problems before they become too severe.

So, take the time to perform this check often. Your car (and wallet) will thank you for it.

CIC says, “Overall, monthly car maintenance will go a long way toward ensuring that it stays running as fluidly (pun intended) as possible.”

From checking oil levels to ensuring the brakes are working correctly, an array of tasks should be completed at least once a month. This allows you to keep up with the maintenance needs of your vehicle.

To ensure you stay on top of all the necessary car service intervals, write a checklist and set reminders for yourself. This helps you stay organized and on track.

In this way, committing to a monthly car maintenance routine will help you save money in the long run regarding repairs. And not to mention keeping the cost of owning a car manageable.

Feel confident you can go on that new adventurous road trip without any mechanical worries!

Car Info Club FAQs

What maintenance does a car need monthly?

Monthly car maintenance is essential for keeping your ride in top condition and extending its lifespan.

You don’t need extensive automotive knowledge to perform these simple tasks that will help optimize performance while ensuring safety on the road.

Start by checking tire pressure using a gauge. Proper inflation levels improve fuel efficiency and driving conditions.

Next, inspect the engine oil level and refill if necessary. Clean oil plays a vital role in maintaining engine health. Don’t forget about transmission fluid, brake fluid, or coolant. Check their levels regularly and top off any fluids when needed.

Finally, examine all lights, including headlights, brake lights, and turn signals to guarantee they function correctly.

This quick monthly car maintenance routine can keep your vehicle running painlessly without encountering annoying issues.

Caring for any car is like giving it a day at the spa. It’s an investment that pays off in smooth and trouble-free rides.

Start with routine oil changes every 3,000 to 5,000 miles to keep the engine running efficiently.

Checking tire pressure is simple monthly car maintenance. It ensures optimal performance while rotating them every 6,000 to 8,000 miles helps prevent uneven wear.

Replacing air filters after 12,000 miles or as recommended by the vehicle’s manual keeps things breathing easy.

Brake inspections should be done every 10,000 to 15,000 miles for safety. Replace worn brake pads when necessary.

Keep track of all fluids, including engine oil, the transmission, brake, and cooling systems. And top them up or change them if needed.

Finally, inspect the battery regularly for corrosion and clean terminals promptly.

These simple steps ensure the vehicle stays pampered and runs flawlessly over time.

What maintenance checks should you do on a monthly basis?

Maintaining a car’s health is crucial for safety and performance reasons. A simple monthly car maintenance routine can help prevent potential issues.

Start by checking tire pressure using a gauge. Proper inflation leads to better fuel efficiency while also enhancing overall vehicle stability.

Next, inspect engine oil levels underneath the hood. If necessary, top off with clean oil that ensures optimal engine functioning. Take note of transmission fluid, brake fluid, and coolant levels. They should be within recommended ranges at all times.

Finally, examine headlights, turn signals, and brake lights carefully for any signs of damage or wear. Replace them ASAP before they cause road accidents due to poor visibility during night driving.

By following this straightforward monthly car maintenance, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your ride is in good shape – ready for anything the road throws its way.


Meet Steven, a passionate car enthusiast who has been living and breathing cars for over 50 years dating back to a toddler! With an abundance of mechanical experience under his belt, he is an expert in all things automotive. Steven studied basic auto mechanics and vocational auto mechanics for four years at J. Sterling Morton East High School (1973-1977). He has hands-on experience as an auto detailer, auto service department writer, auto parts department assistant, auto interior upholsterer, auto mechanic, and auto assistant service manager (1977-1984). He now serves as the Chief Writer for Car Info Club and loves to share his enthusiasm and knowledge with others. Steven is highly knowledgeable, always friendly, and absolutely loves talking about cars.

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