A car maintenance schedule can vary since there are different factors that will have to be considered. For example, the wear and tear of the tires and oil consumption depend on the age and type of vehicle as well as how often you use it (and for how long). Take a look at the following general guidelines to give you an idea on your vehicle maintenance schedule:
Every 10,000 Miles or Annually
A lot of car manufacturers recommend that you should schedule a full car service once a year. You can also schedule according to miles accrued (mileage). Americans drive an average of 13,500 miles annually so scheduling a maintenance appointment every 10,000 to 12,000 miles would ensure you’re on track.
A car health inspection will generally include checks on:
- Oil / oil filter
- Air filter
30,000 Miles and 90,000 Miles
Aside from annual checkups, you also need to schedule a more in-depth inspection and preventative maintenance once the vehicle has reached 30,000 miles and then another one at 90,000 miles. These checks will cover:
- Underbody inspection
- Replacing brake fluid
- Replacing other vehicle fluids
- Replacing or checking brake pads
- Inspecting suspension and steering systems
- Replacing spark plugs
- Battery replacement
- Checking wheel alignment
- Replacement of components and parts that show signs of wear and tear
- Checking timing belt
- Tire check and rotation
- Transmission fluid change
Every 5,000 Miles
Tires need to be checked every month to ensure safety. You should also request for tire rotation every 5,000-7,000 miles. Tire rotation is basically moving the tires and wheels from one position to another so they wear more evenly.
If you drive an older model vehicle, it will require more attention so be sure not to miss any maintenance appointments. Even if you no longer have the service manual, a simple search online will help you find maintenance and service advice and locate a reputable technician to help you care for your vehicle.
Even new cars will require ongoing maintenance checks. Schedule an appointment after 12 months of purchasing your car so it can get checked by a professional car technician. You can also inquire from your dealership if there is a free yearly maintenance plan for your car, as usually they offer this for about 2-3 years.
It’s also important to note that new cars usually have a conditional warranty period. Among the conditions of most vehicle warranties is that coverage will become void if you don’t follow the manufacturer’s recommended schedule for servicing.
Auto wash centers like Shimmy Shine may not be able to service your vehicle so make sure you take it to an authorized service center.