A mechanic performing a routine car inspection

Your Mileage Maintenance Checklist

Maintaining your car is one of the most important and frequently overlooked responsibilities you have. Everyone fudges on their auto maintenance. Sometimes it's not financially possible and other times your schedule doesn't allow for it. But one thing is certain, if these important maintenance milestones aren't attended to, unnecessary wear and tear will follow, with unnecessary repair bills right behind.

  1. Every Three Thousand Miles

    If you are one of those drivers that schedules maintenance every three thousand miles and sticks to it, your car will probably be twice as durable as it otherwise would be. Check your vehicle owner's manual. Most newer cars no longer require oil and filter changes as often, but it is always a good idea to check all your fluid levels and your tire inflation. Top off fluids as needed. Fuel economy is more dependent on your tires than you might think.

  2. Every Six Thousand Miles

    Here is where you change your oil and filter. The fact of the matter is ut's not possible to change your oil too often. Inconsistent or inadequate oil changes can be damaging to engines. This is doubly true with modern engines, which are much more finely tuned and precision balanced than the engines of the past. There is no reason to take chances with your plant.

  3. Every Nine Thousand Miles

    It's easy to overlook the nine thousand mile schedule. Nine thousand miles is the mechanical inspection counterpart to your fluid inspections at three thousand miles. This is when you check your brakes, brake pads, exhaust system, wheels, axles, hoses, clamps, wires, battery terminals, and lights. Anything physical that can be inexpensively replaced should be checked at this milestone.

  4. Every Twelve Thousand Miles

    This is your major systems inspection. Every vehicle should be taken to a manufacturer-approved service provider for a tune-up and inspection. Fuel filters should be examined for unusual wear and tear. Fuel injected engines depend entirely on the fuel filter. The battery should be checked and tested. The air filter should be replaced. The transmission fluid filter should be checked and replaced as needed. Coolant, fans, and radiator should be checked and flushed/serviced as needed. Tires should be measured. Alignment should be examined and adjusted as needed. If these steps are taken, it will dramatically improve the quality of your vehicle's performance and reduce the likelihood of failures or unnecessary repairs.

Mechanical devices are only useful if they work. Keeping precision-engineered vehicles running is an important responsibility. With this schedule, you can help make sure your vehicle stays in top shape.