Want to make sure your car remains in great shape for as long as possible? Sticking to a strict car maintenance schedule could be the way to go. Just take a look below at our list of specific auto components that need to be regularly maintained, and when.
Oil & Filter
Precisely when you will need to change your oil and filter all depends on the type of oil your vehicles uses. Traditional non-synthetic oils, for example, should be replaced every 3,000 miles. Meanwhile, more resilient synthetic oils can get away with 5,000-10,000 miles between oil changes. So long as you know what type of oil you’re using, you should be able to easily determine when you need an oil change.
If your engine can’t breath, it won’t function correctly and will break down easier. To combat this, make sure you’re changing your filters every 15,000-30,000 miles depending on your environment. The dryer and dustier the environment you live in, the sooner you should look into changing your air filters.
A clogged fuel filter is not something anyone wants to deal with, and can even cause an engine to not run at all, which is why changing your fuel filter every 30,000 miles at least is such a great way to protect your engine. Not sure you need a replacement just yet? Ask a mechanic to do a simple pressure test to find out!
Whether you haven’t used a vehicle in a while, or temperatures have been wildly inconsistent, making sure your battery is in great health will go a long way in preventing you from ever getting stuck. Just remember, batteries wear out more according to time than mileage, so your battery life will depend on how often you drive. Traditionally though, you’ll want to look into a new battery every four or five years, or ever 50,000-60,000 miles.
Your brakes are one of the most important components in your vehicle; so don’t let them get “squishy.” Drain and replace your brake fluid according to your vehicle manual’s instructions at least every 20,000-45,000 miles to maintain peak performance.
If you’ve noticed your brakes are screaming lately, it’s likely time to have them replaced. Next time though, don’t wait until your car sounds like it’s dying to make a change. Have your brake pads/shoes checked often to ensure you don’t have any problems. If you do everything right, a good set can survive as much as 50,000 miles of wear and tear.
Your brake rotors put up with a lot of heat and friction when slowing down your car, leading to warping and other problems. To solve this, you can either replace them every 60,000 miles, or considering re-surfacing them (grinding them down to be smooth again), but re-surfacing can only be done once per set.
Prevent your engine from overheating before any real damage sets in by remembering to change your coolant, and potentially even have a mechanic flush your system completely, at least every 60,000 miles.
Protect your transmission by keeping an eye on it often, like as in every time you change your oil. While it won’t need to be changed every time, if you notice it’s no longer pink and sweet, and is instead darker red or brown, then it’s time to take action. This will usually occur anywhere between 30,000 and 60,000 miles for manual transmissions, and 30,000 to 100,000+ for automatic ones. If you have any questions or concerns, just consult your owners manual.
Hoses made from rubber, like those that transport power steeling fluid, coolant, and more, are going to wear out over time, so just be sure to keep a close eye on them as time goes on – especially once your mileage starts hitting six-figures.
Power Steering Fluid
Power steering fluid controls how easy it is for you to control your vehicle’s steering, so do yourself a favor and make sure your system is flushed and your power steering fluid is refilled at least every 75,000 miles.
Spark Plugs/Ignition System
To avoid check engine lights that are impossible to identify without a mechanic’s thorough diagnostics, make sure you’re replacing your spark plugs regularly to keep your ignition system functioning. Just remember, cheaper models made with copper will need to be replaced every 30,000 miles, whereas titanium models can last as long as 100,000 miles.
Timing belt failure can lead to catastrophic damage, which is why this component should always be preemptively replaced every 75,000-90,000 miles. If your vehicle has a chain, you will be able to go much longer without a replacement, just be sure to check in with your mechanic every so often to get it inspected.
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