mechanic checking engine oil

No matter the make, model or year of your car, regularly scheduled maintenance is important for its upkeep. Whether you follow the manual or wait until you see a dashboard light turn on, addressing any issues anticipates serious repairs before they occur and preserves its resale value long term.

From fluid and oil changes to checking sparkplugs and the timing belt ensures the car continues to run well and won’t leave you stranded. Learn more about regularly scheduled maintenance.

General Maintenance Schedule Tips

Regardless of manufacturer, regularly scheduled maintenance is typically based on three key deadlines: 30,000 miles, 60,000 miles and 90,000 miles. In between these three markers, you need to keep track of fluid and filter changes. At the same time, parts with rubber components like gaskets, hoses and wiper blades will start to show wear and tear. Ignoring these general deadlines not only causes these parts to experience more wear, but can further jeopardize your safety by driving in an unsafe vehicle.

When reading the manual, you’ll come across two maintenance timelines: Regular or routine and severe. While logging above average miles on your car may qualify as severe, so can the following:

  • Regularly driving in city traffic or stop-and-go conditions with routine idling
  • Regular short commutes
  • Transporting heavier loads
  • Traveling in a region with steep and uneven roads
  • Living in a dust-prone area or a place with salty air
  • Living in an area with extreme temperatures – high humidity or sub-zero winters

Basic Maintenance Schedule

Not all maintenance schedules are the same. As such, it’s recommended that drivers check the owner’s manual and make note when key services are scheduled along the following timeline.

Up to 30,000 Miles

Before putting 30,000 miles on your car, you will be expected to change the oil and oil filter from every 3,000 to 10,000 miles, based on your owner’s manual. Ignoring an oil change allows debris accumulating in the fluid to circulate through your engine and cause wear.

The oil is not the only fluid you will need to replace. Between every 3,000 and 7,000 miles, check the:

  • Windshield wipers
  • Lights, including headlights, taillights, brake lights and signal lights

As you approach the 30,000-mile mark, you’ll further need to replace the:

  • Air Filter: By this point, the amount of debris clogging the filter can affect the cabin’s air quality. The filter itself may experience some damage, causing a greater amount of dirt and debris to pass through to the engine.
  • Fuel Filter: Similar to the air filter, the fuel filter removes dirt and debris from the gasoline flowing through your car. A clogged fuel filter can also negatively impact engine performance.

At 60,000 Miles

Between 30,000 and 60,000 miles, you’ll need to schedule appointments for:

  • Battery: It’s recommended to replace the battery after five years, which typically occurs between 50,000 and 60,000 miles.
  • Brake Fluid: To ensure your brake system continues to work as needed without getting soft or squishy, the brake fluid needs to be replaced between 20,000 and 45,000 miles, as moisture begins to accumulate. Unlike other fluids changed before this point, brake fluid is not topped off. Rather, the brakes are bled and the fluid gets replaced.
  • Brake Pads and Rotors: Other key components of your brake system will be ready for replacement around 50,000 to 60,000 miles. Friction and heat cause wear to these areas, requiring them to be replaced or resurfaced.

From 60,000 to 90,000 Miles

At this point in car ownership, rubber-based parts start to show wear and should be replaced. Between these two mile marks, insect and make appointments to address the following:

  • Hoses: Fluids, including coolant and power steering, pass through hoses in your engine. Yet due to their composition, cracks can eventually form. This risk increases after 60,000 miles and should be addressed during any maintenance appointments.
  • Spark Plugs: Traditionally, spark plugs should be checked around 90,000 miles, although this factor depends on your car’s make and model and the type of spark plug. Ignoring this issue or having spark plugs experience premature wear can affect how your ignition system functions, often resulting in a car that will struggle to start up.
  • Timing Belt: If your car has a timing belt rather than a timing chain, this part has a higher risk of wear and failure after 75,000 miles. After this point, be sure to have it inspected. Otherwise, you risk being stranded if the part breaks and fails.

As you keep track of your car’s regularly scheduled maintenance needs, reach out to DaSilva’s Auto Body to replace fluids and parts. Contact our Naugatuck shop today to make an appointment today.