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Maintenance: What to Expect at Service Intervals

While not important to your engine’s health, changing the in-cabin air filter at this time is also inexpensive and will help reduce the dust and other contaminants that enter the vehicle while you’re driving it. It’s also a good idea to have your wiper blades inspected and replaced if they are worn. Degraded wiper blades can create a safety hazard in rain or snow, as it is difficult to drive when you can’t see out of your windshield.

At 30,000 miles, in addition to having your air filters replaced and your wiper blades inspected, you should get your fuel filter changed. Fuel filters keep contaminants from entering your fuel system and ultimately your engine; this is a frequently neglected maintenance task, which can contribute to a shorter engine lifespan. This is also a good time to have your coolant, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid inspected. While these fluids last longer in your vehicle than engine oil, they won’t last forever and will eventually do more harm than good if they’re not changed.

When your vehicle reaches 45,000 miles, your spark plugs will likely be due for replacement (most vehicles). Faulty spark plugs can cause your engine to misfire, which greatly degrades the performance of your vehicle, increases the stress on engine components and can eventually lead to engine damage. The other system that needs to be checked at this point is your brakes. Your brakes are perhaps the most important safety aspect of your vehicle, so don’t neglect them. You should have your brake fluid changed and your pads and shoes inspected for wear and replaced if needed.

After you’ve driven your car 60,000 miles, you should again replace your fuel filter, inspect coolant, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid. You should also have your mechanic check your timing belt. This may be a good time to replace your battery as well. Batteries typically only last four to six years in our climate, and a dead battery can be highly inconvenient.

At this point, you may have grown tired of your car and started shopping for a new one. In case you haven’t though, just repeat the above cycle every 60,000 miles to keep your car running well.