Here’s a common issue, one that a lot of folks have to deal with way too often: A perfectly good car on which multiple maintenance items have been neglected. All the individual services needed to keep your car healthy and on the road are fairly easy to deal with when they’re done on schedule but if they’re put off there will come a time when they need to be done all at once, then the expense can seem overwhelming. Skipping transmission services eventually leads to a failed transmission. Don’t do oil changes, timing belt replacement, spark plug replacement and cooling system services on schedule and sooner or later the engine is damaged. Improper brake service or repair will create a dangerous situation. You get the idea. Stay up with your routine maintenance and save yourself the heartache.
Modern cars and trucks are tremendously reliable and durable but they’re just machines and won’t last without being cared for. Once upon a time, way back when I first started driving, a car with a hundred-thousand miles on it was at the end of its’ useful life. Very few cars lasted beyond ten years. Now, most cars aren’t even half way used up at a hundred-thousand and it’s not at all unusual for cars to see three-hundred thousand miles plus without any major issues. The reason vehicles last longer than they used to is because they’re better built and because drivers these days are better at maintaining their cars.
OK then this is how it should work. Keep in mind that the service intervals I use here are generic. The owners’ manual for your car will have the manufacturers’ recommendations.
Oil change every 3,000 miles. 5,000 miles if you’re using full synthetic.
Transmission service every 30,000 miles for most Asian cars, 60,000 miles for most domestics.
Differential service every 60,000 miles. Most front wheel drive cars don’t need this service.
Spark plugs every 60,000 to 105,000 miles depending on make and model.
Timing belt, if your car uses one, every 60,000 to 100,000 miles.
Serpentine belts and radiator hoses every 3 to 5 years or whenever they show wear.
Find a full service auto repair shop you trust and have everything done there. Of course I want you to use ATL Total Car Care in Tempe but regardless, find a good shop and stay with them. The reasoning behind this is that any quality shop will keep the records of what’s been done to your vehicle, keep you informed about what maintenance and repairs you need to be prepared for and what maintenance items you need to take care of now. An added benefit is that the shop will have all the warranty information on the parts they’ve installed on your car.
Keep up with your maintenance and your car will last. Don’t and it won’t.