General maintenance includes those items which should be checked during normal day-to-day operation of the vehicle. They are essential if the vehicle is to continue operating properly. The owners can perform checks and inspections themselves or they can have their dealers do them.
OUTSIDE THE VEHICLE
The maintenance items listed here should be performed from time to time, unless otherwise specified.
Check the pressure, including the spare, with a gauge periodically when at a service station, and adjust to the specified pressure if necessary. Check carefully for damage, cuts and excessive wear.
When checking the tires, make sure no nuts are missing, and check for any loose nuts. Tighten if necessary.
Wheel alignment and balance
If the vehicle pulls to either side while driving on a straight and level road, or if you detect uneven or abnormal tire wear, there may be a need for wheel alignment. If the steering wheel or seat vibrates at normal highway speeds, wheel balancing may be needed.
Windshield wiper blades
Check for cracks and wear if they do not wipe properly.
Doors and engine hood
Check that all doors, engine hood and tailgate operate smoothly. Also make sure that all latches lock securely; lubricate if necessary. Make sure that the secondary latch keeps the hood from opening when the primary latch is released.
When driving in areas using road salt or other corrosive materials, check lubrication frequently.
Make sure that the headlamps, stop lamps, tail lamps, turn signal lamps, and other lamps are all operating properly and installed securely. Also check headlamp aim.
INSIDE THE VEHICLE
The maintenance items listed here should be checked on a regular basis, such as when performing periodic maintenance, cleaning the vehicle, etc.
Warning lamps and buzzers and chimes
Make sure that all warning lamps and buzzers/chimes are operating properly.
Windshield wiper and washer
Check that the wipers and washer operate properly and that the wipers do not streak.
Check that the air comes out of the defroster outlets properly and in sufficient quantity when operating the heater or air conditioner.
Check that it has the specified play. Be sure to check for changes in the steering condition, such as excessive play, hard steering or strange noises. Free play: less than 35 mm (1.38 in)
Check seat position controls such as seat adjusters, seatback recliner, etc. to make sure they operate smoothly and that all latches lock securely in every position. Check that the head restraints move up and down smoothly and that the locks (if equipped) hold securely in all latched positions. Check jump seats for smooth operation.
Check that all parts of the seat belt system (e.g., buckles, anchors, adjusters and retractors) operate properly and smoothly and are installed securely. Check the belt webbing for cuts, fraying, wear and damage.
Check the pedal for smooth operation and make sure the pedal does not catch or require uneven effort. keep the floor mats away from the pedal.
Make sure the pedal operates smoothly and check that it has the proper free play.
Check that the brakes do not pull the vehicle to one side when applied.
Brake pedal and booster
Check the pedal for smooth operation and make sure that it has the
proper distance under it when depressed fully. Check the brake booster function. Be sure to keep floor mats away from the pedal.
Check that the lever has the proper travel and make sure that the vehicle is held securely on a fairly steep hill when only the parking brake is applied.
Inspect the "Park" mechanism. Check that the lock release button on the selector lever operates properly and smoothly. On a fairly steep hill check that the vehicle is held securely with the selector lever in the "P" position without applying any brakes.
UNDER THE HOOD AND VEHICLE
The maintenance items listed here should be checked periodically (e.g., each time you check the engine oil or refuel).
Windshield washer fluid
Check that there is adequate fluid in the tank.
Engine coolant level
Check the coolant level when the engine is cold.
Radiator and hoses
Check the front of the radiator and clean off any dirt, insects, leaves, etc., that may have accumulated. Make sure that the hoses have no cracks, deformation, deterioration or loose connections.
Brake and clutch fluid
Make sure that the brake and clutch fluid levels are between the "MAX" and "MIN" lines on the reservoirs.
Check the fluid level in each cell. It should be between the "MAX" and "MIN" lines.
Engine drive belts
Make sure that no belt is frayed, worn, cracked or oily.
Engine oil level
Check the level on the dipstick after parking the vehicle on a level spot and turning off the engine.
Power steering fluid level and lines
Check the level on the dipstick with the engine off. Check the lines for improper attachment, leaks, cracks, etc..
Automatic transmission fluid level
Check the level on the dipstick after putting the selector lever in "P" with the engine idling.
Make sure that there are no loose supports, cracks or holes. If the sound of the exhaust seems unusual or there is a smell of exhaust fumes, immediately locate the trouble and correct it.
The underbody is frequently exposed to corrosive substances such as those used on icy roads or to control dust. It is very important to remove these substances, otherwise rust will form on the floor pan, frame, fuel lines and around the exhaust system. At the end of winter, the underbody should be thoroughly flushed with plain water, being careful to clean those areas where mud and dirt can easily accumulate.
Check under the vehicle for fuel, oil, water and other fluid leaks after the vehicle has been parked for a while. Water dripping from the air conditioner after use is normal. If any leaks or gasoline fumes are evident, check for the cause and correct it immediately.