A New Way to Think About Auto Maintenance
Updated: Apr 28
If you own a car, you’ve likely received a letter in the mail or an e-mail in your inbox reminding you that it’s time to bring your vehicle in for maintenance. You probably just consider it junk mail and toss it into the trash without a second thought. Then a little while down the road, you find yourself stranded on the side of the road, baffled as to what went wrong with your car. Believe it or not, that little piece of junk mail from your car dealer or local repair shop could have saved you from the breakdown!
Look At It This Way
Scheduling regular maintenance with a repair shop might be difficult if you have a busy schedule, or might seem like an unnecessary task if you have other important items on your to-do list. You might think your income for the week or month will be better spent elsewhere. But when you’re unexpectedly hit with car trouble, chances are the bill to get your vehicle running smoothly again will be far from cheap.
It makes a bit more sense to shell out the dough for regular maintenance if it means avoiding an astoundingly large repair bill in the future. Regular maintenance also gives you piece of mind that your vehicle is in great shape and you’ll be less likely to fall victim to a roadside breakdown.
What Regular Check-Ups Include
When you schedule regular maintenance with your dealer or repair shop, their maintenance checklist will look a little something like this:
Lights (Interior and Exterior)
Brake System (Rotors and Calipers)
They’ll make sure there are no causes for concern and will top off all fluids as necessary.
General Suggested Maintenance
The maintenance in the checklist above should be performed once every 3,000 or 5,000 miles (or 3 or 5 months, whichever comes first). In addition to checking the above items, car manufacturers and vehicle mechanics suggest the following checks by mileage:
Every 5,000 Miles – Rotate Tires, Check chassis lubrication, power steering fluid, wiper blades, tire wear/condition, and transmission fluid.
Every 10,000 Miles – Check steering and suspension, wheel alignment, and replace cabin air filter.
Every 10,000 Miles – Inspect brake pads and fluids, radiator hoses, power steering fluid.
Every Service – Inspect the battery. Replace the battery every 5 years.
Every 60,000-100,000 Miles – Replace spark plugs and inspect ignition system.