Here is what I recommend for maintenance intervals. There are
exceptions to all of these including severe duty, which most
northern cars fall into.
Change Transmission filter-30,000 miles, 90,000 and 150,000
miles and fluid at 60,000, 120,000 and 180,000 miles.
Change oil every 3,000 miles or 3 months, unless you use Mobil
One, in which case 6 months/6,000 miles.
Chassis lube every 3,000 miles, assuming there are
Spark plugs: Conventional plugs: 30,000 miles, Double platinum:
every 50,000 miles (100,000 mile plugs are best to be changed well
before that, although some can reach it).
Fuel filter: 35,000-40,000 miles. Unless it is in the tank. But
if the tank is ever dropped, do it then
Ignition cap, rotor, wires: 60,000-80,000 miles. (if it has
Timing Belt, if applicible: 60,000 miles on many but check with
gates or dayco or the manual or dealer, as many different intervals
are now present.
Coolant flush -- green: 2 years/24,000 miles.
Coolant flush -- dex-cool or long life: 5 years/50,000
Tire rotation: 5,000-8,000 miles.
Alignment: 15,000-20,000 miles., unless tire wear is not a
problem and car goes straight.
Brake fluid flush and power steering fluid flush: 2 years or
when dirty or discolored.
Air filter, pcv valve and cabin air filter: as needed.
Professional fuel injection service: 40,000 miles.
Throttle bore plate cleaning: 20,000 miles.
Air induction service: 20,000 miles.
Every auto manufacturer lists their required maintenance on their
web sites and in the owners manual the maintenance service
intervals vary between manufacturers.
Your car is a moving piece of machinery, it needs maintenance, if
you want this car to last you need to service it. Do not just do
the minimum recommended services that are listed in you service
manual. Make sure you service your cooling system which prolongs
the life of the radiator and water pump, and the power steering
system, which will extend the life of your cars power-seeking pump
and gear box or rack. It will cost you much more than you want to
spend when you fail to maintain your car and larger problems
surface. I recommend that you review your owners manual and get
acquainted with a reputable auto repair facility. A good
relationship with you car and your car's mechanic will benefit you
in the long run, providing you with a long lasting and safe
At 30,000 miles you should also service your cooling system,
transmission, fuel system and power steering; this should be
repeated every 30k miles. I recommend flushes of the later
mentioned items to prolong these systems' life span.
Basic car care can be simple and take only a short time to complete
if you know what to do and look for.
Check your oil every week by first starting the vehicle and letting
it run for at least 30 seconds. This allows the oil to fill the oil
filter and will give you a proper reading on your dipstick. Shut
the engine off wait 2-5 min to allow the oil to settle, and pull
the oil dipstick, wipe it clean and replace it in the dip stick
tube. Pull it out a second time and check the level. Fill if
needed, but do not over fill, and it's best to use the same weight
of oil last used.
Check your transmission every month by first pulling the
transmission dipstick and checking if it requires the transmission
to be in neutral or park. You can do this by reading the dip stick
usually near the fill line. Start your vehicle and run it through
the gears ending in the recommended gear, set the parking brake and
pull the dipstick, clean it off and recheck it for a proper reading
(remember that transmission fluid expands when hot). If the fluid
is in the checked area do not add. If you do need to add fluid be
sure to use the correct type recommended for your vehicle and again
do not overfill.
I recommend never pulling the cap off your brake fluid. Brake fluid
draws moisture from the air and can contaminate the system. If you
think there is a problem with your brakes, have them checked by a
certified brake specialist. You should not need any fluid added to
your brakes unless you have a problem such as a leak or the brakes
need to be replaced. Most new vehicles have a sensor built into the
brake system that lets you know if you need brake work, and this is
activated by the amount of fluid in the reservoir. By adding fluid
you can do more damage than good. (Make sure you know what fluid it
takes dot 4 and dot 5 are not compatible. Cars with Anti-lock
brakes should get there fluid flushed every couple years or every
30,000 miles. A $1500.00 ABS module that went bad from dirty fluid
can be avoided)