Automotive manufacturers, mechanics, and dealers recommend numerous mileage-based car maintenance checkups, but many motorists wonder if they really need them. Is it really necessary to change your oil or perform other automotive maintenance every couple thousand miles or so?
Modern vehicles last a lot longer than they did two or three decades ago. In the past, regular auto repair was necessary to make the car last 5 to 6 years. If you skimped on maintenance, then you ended up paying the price. The average motorist now expects to drive their car ten years or more, partly because modern cars don’t require as much frequent automotive repair as they did a while back, and also because they cost more to replace.
Routine car maintenance is still mandatory, and you can’t neglect the recommended auto maintenance schedule if you want to keep your car running properly as long as possible. Though it is all right to follow a dealer or mechanic’s maintenance schedule, it is often best to follow that of your vehicle’s manufacturer as it is specific to the performance of your car’s design.
Below are a few guidelines with the approximate auto repair and service intervals of many vehicle manufacturers:
Every 3,000 to 7,000 miles:
You should change the oil and oil filter according to the recommended auto maintenance schedule of your car’s manufacturer, which is usually between 3,000 and 7,000 miles. This prevents sludge from building up and interfering with the lubrication of the engine. At the same time, you may want to inspect the transmission fluid level, power steering fluid, coolant, windshield washer fluid, wipers, tires, and the exterior lights.
Every 15,000 to 30,000 miles:
After every 15,000 miles, consider replacing the air filter to improve performance and gas mileage; and inspect the coolant and battery after every 20,000 miles. Checking the coolant level is important to prevent your car from overheating. Most automakers recommend that the fuel filter be replaced at the 25,000-mile maintenance service.
At 30,000 miles, you’ll need to replace the air filter again, as well as the power steering fluid. At the same time, you should inspect the radiator hoses, coolant, HVAC system, suspension components, and the brake pads.
Every 35,000 to 50,000 miles:
Inspect your battery at 35,000 miles and replace if need be to avoid starting problems. Every 40,000 miles, it is recommended that you replace the spark plugs and related wires, and also inspect the suspension and ignition system. Spark plug replacement assure you of top performance and efficiency, while a good suspension ensures that you maintain good control of your vehicle. It is necessary to repeat the inspections at 45,000 and 50,000 miles.
Every 60,000 miles:
Replace the radiator hoses, brake fluid, brake pads, coolant, timing belt, and power steering fluid. You may also need to inspect the tires, suspension components, and the HVAC. This is usually the second most important checkup after the 30,000 mile one, and includes a comprehensive checklist of inspections to ensure vehicle efficiency.