When to Bring Your Car in for Service
Here’s a general breakdown of when you should have preventative maintenance performed on your car. (Consult your owner’s manual for the specific information about your vehicle.)
Every Three Months
- Change the oil and filter: Depending on your vehicle, how you drive, and the type of oil you use, oil changes may be necessary at any point from 3,000 to 20,000 miles.
- Top off all fluids: Check and fill your brake and power steering fluid, antifreeze / coolant, windshield washer fluid and transmission fluid.
Every Six Months
- Brakes: Have them inspected for performance and to gauge their existing service life. Typically, brake pads with 20% life left should be replaced.
- Battery: Check and clean the connections. Also, check the case for cracks or leaks.
- Spark plugs and wires: Have them inspected to make sure they’re in good shape.
- Windshield wipers: Check the blades for cracks or tears and to be sure they’re making constant contact with the windshield.
Every Twelve Months
- Radiator: You may not need a flush and fill every year, but consider having the coolant and cooling system checked just to make sure everything is working properly.
- Fuel Filter: Have it checked and replaced if necessary.
- Belts and Hoses: Have them inspected for any signs of wear. If the belts are cracked or frayed, and if the hoses are hard, brittle or bulging have them replaced.