Northern VA Auto Repair


Car Maintenance Checklist

Caring for your vehicle can help to improve its performance and longevity. A car maintenance checklist can make vehicle ownership simple- saving you time and money in the future. Regular maintenance can help to identify and address any small or underlying issues before they get more severe and more expensive. 

🟧 1. Battery

Your car’s battery can be damaged due to extreme weather conditions, especially during the colder days. Checking your battery includes looking at the connections and keeping terminals corrosion-free. 

Connections: If the battery-terminal connections are in good condition, the current will flow through them properly. There are two battery cables: the positive cable connects to the starter motor and other points of the car’s electrical system, while the negative cable connects to a common ground. At the end of each battery cable is a terminal that attaches it to the battery.

Keeping Terminals Corrosion-Free: To ensure that the terminals are secure, wiggle them to check and see if they are loose. Modern batteries and cables are designed to last the life of the vehicle, however occasionally the terminals may require cleaning. Any green or white powdery deposits must be removed, and the metal surfaces brightened. These deposits can be very corrosive for the battery and affect the connections. 

If you find any issues during this quick inspection, the experienced technicians at Craftsman Auto Care can help you to fix or replace your battery!

🟧 2. Alignment


Correct alignment can provide better handling of your vehicle, and increase the life of your tires. When the roads get slippery in the winter months, a proper alignment can create a safer driving experience. 


🟧 3. Oil Level


Motor oil is essential for good engine health and the overall performance of your car! Check your oil and get it changed regularly based on your manufacturer’s recommended timeline or consult with one of our technicians.


🟧 4. Coolant/Antifreeze


Check out our coolant/antifreeze services offered by BG that cleans and replenishes the entire system with premium coolant and supplemental conditioners! By cleaning debris and removing rust, scale, and sludge from the system fins and lines and replenishing depleted coolant additives, the system will function better, will increase the coolant life, and increase overall vehicle performance. 


🟧 5. Tire Pressure


Checking your tire pressure every month will keep you safer on the roads! Swing by to the nearest Craftsman Auto Care for us to take a look and re-inflate if necessary! 


🟧 6. Tire Tread


You can check your tire pressure using the simple penny method.  Place a penny pointed down in the tread’s grooves. If no portion of Lincoln’s head is visible, then it is time to replace your tires.



🟧 7. Transmission Fluid

The transmission fluid helps in the smooth functioning of all parts in your vehicle’s transmission. Check your transmission fluid about once a month to avoid any damage or potential replacement. A general rule of thumb is to have your transmission fluid replaced every 50,000 to 100,000 miles. Craftsman Auto Care can replace your transmission fluid for you, and while you’re here we also recommend our signature BG Transmission Flush Service! This will fix symptoms including slipping, hard shifting and chattering. When done regularly, this will significantly increase the longevity of your vehicle’s transmission!

🟧 8. Brakes

Your car’s manufacturer recommends a brake maintenance schedule that you should follow based on your car’s specific needs, however a good rule of thumb is to get a brake check every 10,000 miles. At Craftsman Auto Care, your brakes are inspected with every visit - stop in to get a full, thorough digital inspection today!

🟧 9. Lights

A foggy headlight can limit your visibility on the road! Check your car’s headlights by turning them on in front of a flat surface to view it’s power and brightness. Check the condition of parking lights and ask a friend to look at your brake lights while you’re at it as well!

🟧 10. Air Filter

A well-maintained air filter can improve the vehicle’s fuel efficiency and help decrease any emissions. You can check this on your own by using the information in your vehicle’s owner’s manual, or the next time you stop into Craftsman Auto Care!