Could anyone provide me with a list of general maintenance items that I can perform by myself on my used '08 Elantra. Im not set up to do oil changes or transmission, but am looking for a list of other items i can do myself (as well as the timing of those items) to keep my car running for the maximum length of time.
Do you have an owner’s manual with this car? If so, please read the section on what the owner is expected to do.
I would check the oil at least every second tankfull of gas, as well as check the tire pressure, coolant level in the overflow tank, power steering fluid level, brake fluid level, transmission fluid level (if automatic) monthly.
This type of vehicle normally needs oil and filter change regularly (typically every 5000 miles), coolant change every 50,000 miles, auto transmission fluid and filter every 30,000 miles, spark plugs every 60,000 miles, timing belt and tensioner (if it has those) every 60,000 miles or 7 years.
You are best to locate an owner’s manual either form the dealer, who can give you the source, or Google it online and maybe download it for free.
The owners manual will list those items the vehicle owner can inspect and service on the vehicle.
Do you have the owner’s manual? Those intervals should be there. If you don’t have it, you might can find it either on the manufacturer’s web site, or just using Google.
There’s a few things an owner can do even if they aren’t set up for oil changes etc. I don’t have any experience w/your make/model myself, but on most cars the owner would be able to change the spark plugs, change the engine air filter, and the cabin air filter (if you have one). Check all the fluid levels on a regular basis. You might also be able to change the coolant, although that sometimes requires jacking up the car, so that might not be possible in your situation.
Another thing you can do is take care of the interior and exterior. Keep the inside clean and free of debris, vacuum it out on a regular basis, clean off the floor mats. Install seat covers. On the outside, replace the the windshield wipers, light bulbs as necessary. Try to park the car in the shade if possible, and in a garage at night. Wash it with soap and water if it gets dirty, but usually you can just spray it off with a hose and wipe it down with a towel if it is just dusty. Doing that frequently is more imporant that a total detailing less frequently. Consistently putting on car wax twice a year helps to preserve the appearance too.