Comprehensive Car
Maintenance Schedule

Effective Ways To Extend The Life Of Any Vehicle

A comprehensive car maintenance schedule will ensure whatever vehicle you are currently driving lasts for many years to come.

  • Be familiar with every aspect of vehicle maintenance.
  • Do not skip any maintenance duty, even if you think it isn't needed.
  • Maintenance is cheaper than buying a new car too early.

Everyone is trying to reduce expenses, conserve energy, and basically live on as little as possible these days. Whether you were hoping to purchase a new vehicle in the coming year but have now put it off due to the downturn in the economy or you simply don't want to go into debt in the midst of worldwide financial crisis, following a good car maintenance schedule will ensure whatever vehicle you have right now holds up as long as possible.

The fact is, most vehicles would last a lot longer if they were cared for properly. If you haven't been taking good care of your vehicle, now is the time to start! It may take some work and expense to perform needed maintenance on your vehicle at required intervals, but it is way more expensive when the motor blows or parts start giving out due to lack of care.

Proper upkeep is always less expensive than purchasing a new vehicle!

So, let's take a look at what standard vehicle maintenance consists of and when you should be doing each task. We'll break it down according to the time frame that each task should be performed in, and at the end we'll give you a convenient car maintenance schedule to take with you.

Regular Maintenance

There is only one regular maintenance duty that you should be doing on a regular basis and that is the oil change. The rule is every 3 months, or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Just like all other maintenance duties to be discussed here, the more miles you put on your vehicle the more frequently it is going to need to be cared for. So, if you travel 3,000 miles before your 3 months is up, don't wait, go get the oil changed.

Technically, you need to have your tires rotated and balanced and your battery checked every 7,500 miles or 6 months. If you are getting your oil changed right at every three months, it is easier to remember if you just have these things done along with every other oil change.

Yearly Maintenance

In addition to the ongoing maintenance discussed already, once a year a few other maintenance tasks come up on the car maintenance schedule. The following filters should all be changed once a year, or every 15,000 miles:

  • Transmission filter
  • Air filter
  • Fuel filter
  • Carbon canister filter

You should also have the transmission flushed and the PCV and breather element should be replaced. Finally, service the brakes and have the battery checked.

Every two years or 30,000 miles you will need to add the following to that yearly list:

  • Have coolant and brake fluids flushed and replaced.
  • Change distributor cap, wires, and rotor
  • Change spark plugs
  • Change differential or transfer case fluid

Long Term Maintenance

The last section on your car maintenance schedule is to have a few occasional maintenance duties performed about every 60,000 miles. These things include all of the more frequent maintenance duties that have already been mentioned which may be due at this time, plus a few extra things:

  • Have the power steering fluid flushed and replaced.
  • Change timing belt.
  • Everything on the 30,000 mile list will be due as well at this time, so this makes up the largest servicing you will need to put your vehicle through.

It looks like a lot to remember, but it really is not much if you keep it up at regular intervals and take it one service at a time. Here is a concise car maintenance schedule to help you keep track:

Car Maintenance Checklist

3,000 miles or 3 months

  • Oil Change

7,500 miles or 6 months

  • Check the Battery
  • Rotate and Balance Tires
  • Oil Change May be Due Again

15,000 miles or 12 months

  • Change Filters: transmission, air, fuel, carbon canister
  • Change PCV and breather element
  • Flush Transmission
  • Service Brakes
  • May Be Due for an Oil Change, Battery Check, and Tire Rotation/Balance

30,000 miles or 24 months

  • Flush and replace coolant and brake fluid
  • Change distributor cap, wires, and rotor
  • Change spark plugs
  • Change differential or transfer case fluid
  • Plus Everything on 12 Month List

60,000 miles

  • Flush and Replace Power Steering Fluid
  • Change Timing Belt
  • Yearly Duties May Be Due As Well


Return from Car Maintenance Schedule to Penny Pincher
Return from Car Maintenance Schedule to How to Organize Your Life
Return to Life Organize It Home Page