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Your 2022 Car Checklist for the New Year: A Guide from Yorba Linda Auto Service

Jan 1, 2022

As the New Year dawns upon us, it’s time to look forward to fresh starts and new resolutions. One important resolution that should be on every driver’s list is ensuring their vehicle is in top condition. At Yorba Linda Auto Service, we understand how crucial it is to keep your car running smoothly, especially as you embark on new adventures in 2022. This guide will walk you through a comprehensive car checklist to help you maintain and prepare your vehicle for the year ahead.

Why a New Year Car Checklist?

A car is a significant investment and plays a vital role in our daily lives, from commuting to work to road trips with family. Regular maintenance not only extends the life of your vehicle but also ensures safety, reliability, and fuel efficiency. Starting the year with a thorough inspection and tune-up can save you time, money, and potential headaches down the road.


Primary Car Checklist Items

1. Oil Change
Regular oil changes are essential for the longevity of your engine. Oil lubricates the moving parts, reduces friction, and helps prevent overheating. Check your car’s oil level and schedule an oil change if it’s due. For most vehicles, the oil should be changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, but it’s always best to consult your owner’s manual or ask your trusted mechanic at Yorba Linda Auto Service.

2. Tire Inspection
Tires are your car’s contact with the road, making their condition critical for safety and performance. Check the tread depth and look for signs of uneven wear, cracks, or punctures. Proper tire pressure is equally important; under-inflated or over-inflated tires can affect handling and fuel efficiency. Consider rotating your tires and aligning them if necessary, which can prevent uneven wear and extend their lifespan.

3. Brake Inspection
Brakes are one of the most critical safety components of your vehicle. Listen for any unusual noises like squeaking or grinding when you brake, and pay attention to how your car responds. If you notice any issues, such as the car pulling to one side or a soft brake pedal, it’s time for a brake inspection. Replacing brake pads and rotors can prevent more severe damage and ensure your vehicle stops safely.

4. Test Your Battery
The last thing you want is to be stranded with a dead battery. Check your battery’s charge and inspect the terminals for any signs of corrosion. If your battery is over three years old or you’ve had trouble starting your car recently, it might be time for a replacement. At Yorba Linda Auto Service, we can test your battery and provide recommendations for a reliable new one if needed.

5. Examine All Fluids
Your vehicle relies on various fluids to operate correctly. In addition to engine oil, check the coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid levels. Low or dirty fluids can lead to poor performance or damage to essential components. Top off or replace fluids as necessary, and flush the systems according to the manufacturer’s schedule.

6. Inspect Lights and Signals
Ensure all your lights are functioning correctly, including headlights, tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals. Properly working lights are crucial for visibility and safety, especially during night driving or inclement weather. Replace any burnt-out bulbs promptly, and consider upgrading to LED lights for better brightness and energy efficiency.

7. Replace Wiper Blades
Wiper blades are often overlooked until you find yourself in a downpour with poor visibility. Inspect your wipers for cracks or wear and replace them if they’re streaking or skipping. Keeping your windshield washer fluid topped up is also essential for maintaining clear visibility.

8. Check the HVAC System
Your car’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is vital for comfort and safety. Ensure the heater is working correctly for those chilly mornings, and test the air conditioning in preparation for the summer months. If the system isn’t providing adequate heating or cooling, or if you notice strange smells or noises, have it inspected by a professional.

9. Review Your Car Insurance and Registration
While not a physical inspection, reviewing your car insurance and registration is crucial for legal and financial reasons. Ensure your insurance policy is up-to-date and provides adequate coverage. Also, check the expiration date on your vehicle registration and renew it if necessary to avoid penalties.


Secondary Car Checklist Items

1. Inspect Belts and Hoses
Belts and hoses are essential for the operation of various engine components. Over time, they can become brittle, crack, or break. Inspect them for any signs of wear and replace them as needed to prevent breakdowns and costly repairs.

2. Clean and Replace Air Filters
Air filters keep dust, dirt, and other contaminants out of your engine and cabin. A dirty air filter can reduce engine efficiency and cabin air quality. Check both your engine and cabin air filters and replace them if they’re dirty or clogged.

3. Check the Exhaust System
A properly functioning exhaust system reduces harmful emissions and noise. Inspect the exhaust pipes and muffler for any signs of rust, holes, or leaks. If you notice unusual noises or a decrease in fuel efficiency, have your exhaust system checked by a professional.

4. Detail Your Car
Starting the year with a clean car can be both refreshing and motivating. Wash and wax the exterior, vacuum the interior, and clean the windows. Regular detailing not only makes your car look great but also helps preserve its value.

5. Review Your Owner’s Manual
Your vehicle’s owner’s manual is a treasure trove of information about maintenance schedules and specifications. Review it to ensure you’re up-to-date with all recommended services and understand the unique needs of your car.


Car Maintenance with Yorba Linda Auto Service at Placentia, CA

 car maintenance

Mechanic holding clipboard and checking for car maintenance

Starting the year with a thorough car inspection and maintenance routine is a smart move that will pay off throughout 2022. Yorba Linda Auto Service is here to assist you with all your automotive needs, from routine maintenance to complex repairs. By following this checklist, you’ll ensure your vehicle remains reliable, safe, and ready for all the journeys the New Year has in store.

Your car is a tool you use every day, and you want it to be in great shape. By either adding these tips to your car checklist or visiting us for scheduled maintenance, we want your on-the-road experience to be amazing this year. Call us at (714)970-4190, or visit us at 801 S Lakeview Avenue, Unit G, Placentia, CA 92870 to have your vehicle inspected for the new year!