I admit, I have always been (and apparently remain) a total slacker when it comes to keeping proper care of my vehicle. I didn’t have to worry about this in NYC, which was awesome, but now we’re back to daily driving and car ownership and so it looms… I did buy two Groupons for Jiffy Lube (pats self on back), so I’m at least acknowledging and addressing my shortcomings in this area. At any rate, here is a handy and simple guide to routine auto maintenance. I’ve scheduled it into my Google Calendar so I won’t space and kill our Kia.
Every 3,000-7,000 miles
The oil and oil filter should be replaced
Inspection of transmission fluid level, coolant, power steering fluid, washer fluid and wipers, tires, exterior lights
Every 15,000-30,000 miles
Replace air filter
Inspect battery and coolant
Replace fuel filter
Replace air filter and power steering fluid
Inspect coolant, radiator hoses, HVAC system, brake pads and suspension
Every 35,000-50,000 miles
Inspect and replace battery
Replace spark plugs and spark plug wires
Inspect ignition system and suspension
Every 60,000 miles
Replace brake pads and brake fluid
Replace radiator hoses, coolant, power steering fluid and timing belt
Inspect the HVAC, suspension components and tires
Oil changes and air filters are very important parts of engine maintenance; however, a thorough inspection of all engine, transmission, cooling, brakes and suspension components should also be performed regularly. The owner’s manual provides a routine auto maintenance schedule based on engine mileage for most cars.
The other issue with car maintenance is the money – my solution is to put aside a fixed amount every month to be saved in case of extensive repairs or parts replacement (beyond the maintenance listed above).
See what the Lifehacker Hive Mind has to say on the subject: