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Routine Car Maintenance Schedule Based on Engine Mileage

car dashboardCar ownership is a great privilege but comes with much responsibility. Keeping your car maintained and in peak condition is a must. With so much conflicting information, including what can be found on the internet it’s easy to get confused or mislead on what kind of maintenance your vehicle requires and how often. Each vehicle requires some sort of maintenance at a certain number of miles. So how do you know what’s accurate in order to extend the life of your vehicle without performing any “unnecessary” maintenance?

Days Gone By

In the past, vehicle manufacturer’s provided details on what maintenance was necessary in order to keep the vehicle running at its peak performance. However, within the last 10-15 years, this has changed entirely. Some manufacturers provide little to no guidelines on routine vehicle maintenance schedules. The benefit for them is that they are able to show on the sticker price that overall maintenance costs are low, which appeals to vehicle purchasers. This is strongly misleading, as heat and friction from constantly moving parts, severe climate, and driving conditions very much affect your vehicle’s performance. Neglecting vehicle maintenance could lead to unexpected and costly repairs.

Maintenance Is Key

Every vehicle is different, however, to keep your vehicle on the road for as long as you desire to drive it, follow these general guidelines. It’s important to keep in mind that not all services apply to each vehicle. Discuss your vehicle’s specific needs with a Service Consultant or Technician that you trust to ensure your vehicle receives the best care necessary.


Before the advent of synthetic oils, the standard duration between oil changes was every 3,000 miles. Now that most newer vehicles require a synthetic blend or full synthetic oil, vehicles are able to go longer between oil changes. Manufacturers would recommend changing between 7,000 miles-10,000 miles. However, in severe driving conditions, such as Arizona, it is best to get an oil change every 5,000 miles not to exceed 7,000 miles.

Air Filters:

The dusty, desert climate can dirty an air filter in no time. Replacing the filter every 5,000 miles is recommended.

Power Steering Fluid:

Power steering is a necessity for driving these days, keeping the fluid fresh and clean is key. A power steering flush is suggested every 30,000 miles.

Transmission Fluid:

Transmission fluid should be checked often, usually with each oil change. Flushes should be performed every 50,000 miles. Transmission fluid often gets dirty from the friction of the moving parts within the transmission, turning a dark brown. The darker the fluid, the worse the condition it’s in. This is a service that must be performed by a trusted auto repair facility, as many transmissions are sealed units and no longer have a dip stick to check the fluid color.

Spark Plugs:

Yesterday’s “tune-up” is today’s spark plug change. Replacement is needed between 90,000 and 100,000 miles.

Fuel System:

Because of the contaminants due to dirt and debris in the fuel system, every 30,000 is the ideal time for a fuel system flush.


There isn’t a set time that brakes require replacement, as many factors including driving habits contribute to the wear of brakes. However, frequent inspections are recommended. Brake fluid should be replaced every 15,000 – 30,0000 miles (depending on vehicle manufacturer). Brake fluid gets contaminated by outdoor moisture, which destroys the boiling point of brake fluid, requiring replacement.

Belts & Hoses:

Belts and hoses crack due to their rubber components and hoses wear from the inside out. It’s almost impossible to know the appropriate time to replace them. Every 5 years or 60,000 miles is a suitable interval for these integral elements.

Coolant Flush:

In the past, this service was called a flush as a machine run by air would force the spent fluid out and fresh coolant was added. Now, the service is more of a fluid exchange in that the fluid is removed while new fluid is added with the engine running. An additive is also added to help keep the calcium and rust down within the radiator.

Maintenance You Can Trust

Your vehicle cannot be “over maintained.” Simply put, no amount of routine maintenance performed on your vehicle is unnecessary. If you’re still not sure which maintenance service your particular vehicle requires, seek out the experts at Sun Devil Auto. Our friendly and knowledgeable Technicians and Service Consultants can help guide you in selecting the most beneficial services for your vehicle, and how often they should be performed. With ASE Certified Technicians, cutting-edge technology and procedures, along with top-quality customer service, you’re sure to have peace of mind every time you hit the road. Plus, with locations throughout the Phoenix area, there’s always a Sun Devil Auto near you!