I drive my cars a lot! Because of this, I have come up with a maintenance schedule that I can apply to all of the vehicles that I own and keep them in proper running condition. I’ve come up with this schedule out of ease of remembering the intervals and from the length of time it takes for wearable parts to fail. I’ve owned quite a few cars over the years and have found it cheaper to replace the wearable parts before they fail and do more damage. I do oil changes regularly; rotate tires pretty often, do tune ups, and change out brake pads. I drive my cars so much and put them through their paces on a regular basis so I try very hard to keep them in tip top shape. You typically won’t find dirty oil or fouled spark plugs in my vehicles due to a lack of maintenance. These issues in my cars are usually due to a real problem, but because of my rigorous maintenance schedule it makes it easier to troubleshoot because you can quickly eliminate the easy stuff. I speak from experience when I tell you that a little bit more money up front will save you hundreds or even thousands on the back end. It also helps that I do all of the work myself, so this factors in to the affordability of some of these procedures.
Some people may think it is overkill and that I spend too much money on keeping with this schedule, but with the amount of miles that I put on my cars; I think it is worth it. Since I’ve been following this schedule, my cars have never let me down, except for the occasional dead battery here and there. There has never been major failure while on the road and I feel confident driving these cars anytime, anywhere. Piece of mind is definitely worth the minor price increase on the maintenance of the cars.
Every 3000 – Oil and Filter Change
Every 15000 – Clean Air Filter / Rotate Tires (I would do the tires more often, but I drive so much that I would be doing it all the time)
Every 30000 – Tune up (New Plugs and clean the Air Filter in most new cars, I would do a cap and rotor and wires as well as a fuel filter in older cars) / Change Front Brake Pads
Every 50000 – Radiator Flush and Fill / Replace Transmission Fluid
Every 60000 – Change Rear Brake Pads
I would change the timing belt at this interval as well if the car had one.
Every 100000 – Change the Serpentine Belt
As you can see, it’s not a completely crazy schedule but it covers all the major parts at reasonable intervals and allows for a once over of the vehicle on a pretty regular basis. Every 3000 miles for me is about once a month for my car and maybe every 3 months for the truck. Sometimes it feels like these intervals are too close together, but it’s the miles that are important, not the time. My car is currently about to eclipse the 100k mark and its only 3 years old. To this day the only non-maintenance work that I’ve done to it is the intake manifold which ended up being a recall. Too bad I replaced it before the recall came out.
Someone once told me that if I change the oil every 3000 miles, my car would run forever. I believe it! That is the reason for the maintenance schedule above. I am banking on the every 3000 mile rule to keep my cars running as long as possible and to replace them on my time and not because they are nickel and diming me to death. I am actually hoping to get 300k out of my car and at least 200k from the truck. We’ll see if I get there……