If you love your car as much as most people do, you’ll want to take care of it, but how much do you really know about car maintenance and warning signs? Here are a few basic maintenance and cleaning tips to keep your car in good shape.

Rotating Tires about every 5,000 miles can help even out the wear pattern to make them last longer. Double check with your owner’s manual to see if your vehicle manufacturer suggests performing a tire rotation more often.

Changing your air filter every 12 months or 12,000 miles can help keep it working efficiently, preventing poor gas mileage and shorter engine life. If you live in an exceptionally dirty or dusty environment, the air filter should be checked every three months.

The right cleaner to wash a car Any made to wash vehicles, because using any cleaner not designed to wash a car is not a good idea. Solutions such as dish-washing soap and laundry detergent can dry out your paint and cause its protective coating to wear off.

Check your tire pressure Tires naturally lose pressure over time, which can make them less efficient. Check your tire pressure each month and make sure they are inflated to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation on the sticker on your door jamb.

Headlights To give you the best view of the road, always change both headlights when one goes out. It may be more difficult to see around all areas of the car if one light is brighter than the other.

Change the oil and oil filter regularly The owner’s manual for your car will specify exactly how often you should do this, but a good rule of thumb is to change them every 3,000 to 4,000 miles. If you change the oil and filter yourself, be sure to dispose of the used oil properly.

Replace the windshield wipers blades periodically If your wiper blades are cracked or torn, or if they begin to streak, it’s time to replace them.

Inspect the engine belts They should never have cracks or missing segments

Taking better care of your car often starts with maintenance. If you properly maintain your car, you can likely get more out of it. A simple Check List can potentially save you a lot of money in the long run.