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Auto Repair Timeline: What Your Car Needs At Each Mileage

Whether your car is brand new and right off the lot or you’re surrendering it to an auto recycler, you want to keep your car on the road for as long as possible. What’s the secret to keeping your car on the road? It’s really no secret at all – scheduled maintenance is the key to making your car last!

Over time, with normal wear and tear, certain components will begin to lose their ability to perform and fall into disrepair. By maintaining your vehicle, you may be able to prevent major repairs and improve your vehicle’s performance.

By taking care of your car with scheduled maintenance, using good quality fuel, and maintaining good driving habits, you may be able to extend the life of your vehicle. What is the right timeline of maintenance for your vehicle? Follow our guide on maintenance, from 3,000 miles to 100,000 miles and everything in between.

auto technician using racket wrench under the hood

3,000 – 5,000 Mile Maintenance: Oil Change

Depending on the type of oil your vehicle uses, you should expect to change your oil every 3,000 – 5,000 miles or every three to six months. Having your oil changed frequently protects your engine and keeps it operating smoothly. It also prevents components from rubbing metal to metal, aids in keeping the engine cool, and acts as a cleanser.

6,000 Mile Maintenance – Alignment

Alignment certifies that your tires are all pointing in the same direction and that all related suspension components wear smoothly and evenly. There are a number of reasons that can cause a vehicle to fall out of alignment over a period of time. An alignment should be checked at every other oil change and adjusted when necessary. Alignments should also be performed when new tires are installed, when your car pulls in one direction, or after hitting a curb.

30,000 Mile Maintenance – Scheduled Factory Maintenance

Commonly called “30K/60K/90K” maintenance, scheduled factory maintenance services should be performed with your 30,000 mile maintenance, 60,000 mile maintenance and 90,000 mile maintenance services. These services may vary from vehicle to vehicle; however, each service will likely include:

  • A check of the oil level and a change, if necessary
  • Cabin air filter replacement
  • Tire inspection and balance
  • Spark plug check and/or replacement
  • Topping off of All fluids, including: transmission fluid, brake fluid, coolant, wiper fluid and, if applicable, power steering fluid.
  • A visual inspection of other vital components, including the timing belt, which may require replacement before the 100,000 mile mark.

50,000 Mile Maintenance – Shock and Strut Replacement

Shocks dampen and oscillate to dissipate the energy created from traveling over bumps and other road imperfections. A vehicle that has driven 50,000 miles has likely oscillated over 88 million times. Not only do struts and shocks provide a smoother ride, they also improve cornering, which gives you more control behind the wheel and helps improve stopping distance.

60,000 Mile Maintenance – Belts, Hoses, and Tires

undercarriage of a pickup truck

Belts and hoses perform essential functions as part of your vehicle’s air conditioning, cooling, and charging systems. Due to constant exposure to heat, vibrations, and chemicals, over time belts and hoses are prone to cracks or leaks. While engine belts, drive belts, serpentine belts, and timing belts can be visually inspected and imperfections can be identified, hoses cannot. Hoses wear from the inside out and should be replaced every four years or every 60,000 miles.

When tire tread wears down, your tires lose traction during braking, making it difficult to grip the road properly, especially in wet conditions. Many drivers are unaware that tires also have an expiration. Rubber on tires that are over six-years-old may dry and crack, which could lead to hazardous driving conditions. You can check the age of your tires by locating the Tire Identification Number branded on the sidewall of your tires.

100,000 Mile Maintenance – Spark Plugs and Fluid Changes

Spark plugs play a vital role in creating energy for the engine. Spark plugs that fail may cause a vehicle’s check engine light to illuminate, run rough, or have difficulty starting. Many newer vehicles utilize titanium spark plugs, which may last as much as 90,000 miles. Copper spark plugs will require more frequent replacements.

Once your vehicle reaches the 100,000 mile mark, consider switching to a high-mileage oil at each oil change. High-mileage oils contain additives, including conditioners, antioxidants, and detergents, which may aid in leak prevention by rejuvenating seals, preventing seepage, reducing wear on moving parts, and cleaning any sludge present within the engine. Similarly, switching to a high-mileage coolant will help protect your engine against freezing during cold weather and overheating in warmer temperatures. High-mileage coolants possess additives that prevent corrosion, as well as lubricants to protect gaskets and engine seals.

At Any Mileage – Visit Sun Devil Auto

auto technician using diagnostic tool

Arizona is considered a “severe climate” because of its hot, dusty conditions. Vehicles that endure these conditions require more frequent and special maintenance to ensure they continue to operate optimally. At Sun Devil Auto, we’re the experts when it comes to vehicle maintenance. From oil changes to spark plugs, we’re here for you every step of the way.

Sun Devil Auto’s friendly service consultants and ASE-certified technicians can recommend maintenance services that are the most beneficial for your vehicle and how often they should be performed, like our Maintenance Service Special. This service is performed every 30,000 miles and is one of the best ways to protect your vehicle and keep it running mile after mile, after mile, after mile, after mile, after…well, you get it.