Maintenance Checklist for Geos
Maintaining your Geo is a very important practice that becomes more and more important as the vehicle ages. Older vehicles are prone to more mechanical failures, and while newer cars today have fancy built in features to alert the owner when something needs attention, these older Geo cars don't have these features. So, to help out, we've put together a quick checklist of simple maintenance tasks you do to ensure your little Geo keeps running properly for a long time to come.
Auto fluids including oil, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, anti-freeze, brake fluid, and windshield cleaner should be checked regularly. A small amount of usage may be ordinary and should be brought back up to the normal level. If there is an indication of heavy usage, a bigger problem exists, such as leaks, or your engine burning though oil.
Checking on the fluids in your vehicle is one of the most important things you can do to keep your car running well. They are the things your engine needs to function properly. Keep an eye on them. More so with older vehicles.
Take the time to learn where each of these are, and how to check them: engine oil, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid, radiator anti-freeze. I recommend checking at least once a month.
The air filter should be checked regularly to see if it is dirty. If so, it should be changed.
The proper amount of air intake is essential to keep your engine running smooth. When the air filter gets clogged, less air gets to the engine, and you're car will start feeling sluggish, and won't accelerate as quickly. If your Geo isn't feeling as perky as it once was, this is a good place to start.
Difficulty: Easy. It's also usually pretty easy to check and change an air filter.
Like the air filter, the same rules apply for the fuel filter. If the fuel filter becomes dirty enough, the vehicle will not run efficiently. A clean fuel filter helps keep fuel usage at its best.
Difficulty: Moderate / Little Messy. The fuel filter isn't to hard to change, but you will usually have a little gas in the line that will leak out when taking off the old filter and putting on the new one. Be sure to double check that you have the fuel lines well secured after making the change and that there are no leaks.
Spark plugs are an item that needs changed periodically to keep the vehicle firing correctly. Soot can build up on the ends of the spark plugs causing an auto to fire incorrectly. The spark plug wires should also be checked for any bare spots or excessive wear.
Difficulty: Moderate to hard, depending on how comfortable you feel poking around your engine. This is a great thing to let a mechanic take care of while doing a tuneup.
All the belts on a vehicle should be checked for cracks and looseness. If any belts are loose, the vehicle will not run properly. Sometimes a belt only needs tighten, and other times it needs replaced. If no problems are seen in a visual check, tighten the belt first. If it is still loose, replace the belt.
Difficulty: Moderate to hard, depending on the belt, and how accessible it is. It's easy to visually inspect your belts looking for cracks and problems, then let a mechanic do any needed work.
Battery cables need checked for corrosion between the battery post and the cable. If a build up exists, scrape the cables and battery posts clean to make a good electrical connection to keep the auto starting properly.
When corrosion gets built up on the battery terminals, not as much power will get to your starter. If you're having problems starting your vehicle, this is the first thing to check before moving on to checking for battery or alternator problems.
Check tire pressure often. The air level can change along with weather conditions. It should be kept at the recommended level for optimum gas mileage and minimize wear and tear on the tires.
I recommend checking at least once per month. And be sure to check when temperatures drop or raise drastically.
Although brake pads should be checked periodically, any noise that radiates from them should warrant a look immediately. Proper maintenance can stop bigger and more expensive brake problems in the future.
Difficulty: Moderate (if you know what you are looking for). But easy for a mechanic to quickly check.