No two automobiles are the same. So it makes sense that vehicles have different maintenance guidelines. Such guidelines, which include recommendations regarding how frequently oil should be changed and how often tires should be rotated, are typically included in vehicle owner’s manuals. Drivers are urged to familiarize themselves with these guidelines, which can protect vehicles as well as the people inside them.
According to CarGurus®, a free internet-based automotive resource, many manufacturers adhere to the 30-60-90 schedule. That schedule recommends everything from inspections to part replacements when vehicles reach 30,000, 60,000 and 90,000 miles. These recommendations are meant to serve as guidelines, and drivers should know that certain factors can affect how often routine maintenance should occur and when parts must be replaced. For example, harsh driving conditions can lead to excessive wear and tear that causes parts to erode long before owner’s manuals suggest they should. As a result, drivers should always speak with their mechanics during service appointments to determine if their vehicles are aging gracefully or if they need a little extra TLC.
Drivers should always read their manuals for recommended service intervals. The following are some general maintenance guidelines, courtesy of CarGurus®, that drivers can keep in mind as the miles pile up on their vehicles’ odometers.
• Oil and oil filter: Many new cars now run on synthetic oil, which tends to last between 5,000 and 10,000 miles. Older vehicles using traditional oil may need to adhere to the once-standard oil change interval of 3,000 miles. Mechanics will typically replace oil filters with the same frequency as they replace oil.
• Air filter: Air filters generally need to be replaced every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. However, CarGurus® notes that drivers who park in dusty environments should err on the side of caution and have their air filters replaced every 15,000 miles.
• Fuel filter: Clogged fuel filters can affect engine performance and even prevent engines from running. Fuel filters may need to be changed at 30,000-mile intervals.
• Battery: A typical car battery tends to last around four or five years.
• Brake pads: Worn out brake pads will make a screeching sound. Brake pads should last around 50,000 miles, though they should be inspected at regular intervals regardless of mileage.
• Brake rotors: Brake rotors can be resurfaced or replaced, and this should be done around 60,000 miles. Resurfacing can only be done once and is less expensive than a full replacement.
• Hoses: Hoses crack over time, but generally do not need to be replaced until they reach the 90,000-mile mark. However, hoses should be inspected routinely, as busted hoses can cause very significant damage.
Recommended maintenance intervals are only intended to serve as guidelines. If drivers notice any changes in vehicle performance, they should consult a mechanic immediately, regardless of how many miles are on their cars or trucks.