Time for Service? Follow This Vehicle Maintenance Timeline

Owning a vehicle is a big responsibility. Maintaining it well is important for extending the life of your car, as well as for keeping you safe. Since there’s so much to do, sometimes it can be difficult to remember what you need to take care of and when.

Though you should always defer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual – it has the best information for your specific make and model – there are some general guidelines you can use as a starting point. Here’s what you need to know about how often your major vehicle systems need to be checked.


  • Lights – both interior and exterior
  • Tire inflation
  • Tire tread condition
  • Windshield washer fluid level

Every 6 months (or 4,000 miles)

  • Chassis lubrication
  • Antifreeze/coolant
  • Finish, looking for scratches, dents, or rust
  • Power steering fluid level
  • Transmission fluid level
  • Wiper blades

Every 12 months (or 13,000 miles)

  • Battery and cables
  • Belts
  • Brake system
  • Cabin air filter
  • Engine air filter
  • Exhaust system
  • Hoses
  • HVAC system
  • Steering and suspension

Other things to check

  • Watch out for the indicator lights on your dashboard. If anything is lit that wasn’t lit before, or if any lights are flashing, it’s important to get your vehicle in to see your mechanic ASAP.
  • Engine oil and filter.
  • Spark plugs.

For recommendations on changing your engine oil and spark plugs, look at your owner’s manual and/or consult a trusted mechanic.

Other factors to consider

There are some outside factors that have an effect on your vehicle’s various systems and how often they need attention. For example, the way you drive and how you use your vehicle will affect the service intervals. This is why your owner’s manual should always be your go-to resource.

Another thing to think about is what maintenance tasks you can do yourself and which ones you should trust to a mechanic. You can easily check your oil level yourself, as well as giving your tires a regular visual inspection. Of course, it’s simple for you to check your interior and exterior lights, too.

Let a mechanic handle the big jobs like inspecting your brakes and your steering and suspension systems.

Trust your vehicle maintenance to the pros

Even the jobs you think you can handle on your own should be checked by an experienced auto technician on a regular basis.

At Conrad’s, we’ll treat your vehicle as if our own mother was driving it. That’s service you can trust.

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