If you’re spending good money on a quality vehicle, you want a reliable tool you can expect to last on the road for many a year to come. Of course, it goes without saying that regular maintenance is absolutely essential in promoting that prolonged lifespan. What many don’t seem to realize however, is that “regular maintenance” doesn’t simply mean dropping by your mechanic’s place for a visit whenever that “check engine” light makes its unwelcome presence known.

Keeping an auto maintenance schedule and sticking to it can take the guesswork out of caring for you car while keeping it in optimum shape for years longer than its expected life span! The difference between waiting for your check engine light and following a mechanic’s recommended maintenance schedule is the frequency with which each individual part of your vehicle is checked. Instead of waiting for parts to breakdown before fixing them, you preemptively address the problem by coming in regularly. Of course, the benefits that come along with this rigorous auto maintenance can hardly be denied.

Why Keep a Schedule?

If the improved lifespan of your vehicle wasn’t enough of a selling point, you’ll be happy to hear that sticking to a maintenance schedule can also save you a considerable amount of both time and money!

Odds are at this moment you’re scratching your head in confusion. After all, if you’re consistently heading in to the mechanics before parts need care, aren’t you wasting money on pointless visits? Not quite! Many vastly underestimate how much replacing an auto part can cost, especially if it’s something integral such as their timing belt. By spending less upfront to catch problems before they have a chance to grow, you save the difference you’d have to spend on a costly part down the road.

As far as time is concerned, you can expect to be at the mechanic’s for considerably longer if parts need to be swapped out entirely. Not to mention, if your vehicle were to break down unexpectedly in the middle of the road, you can pretty much kiss that entire day goodbye.

An Ideal Schedule

So now that we’ve covered the benefits, what’s a realistic schedule you can be expected to follow for your vehicle? Fortunately, we have a basic plan of attack for those new to the scheduled maintenance routine. Follow these checks as a rule of thumb and adjust based on symptoms your vehicle may exhibit.

Every Month
○ Clean your interior and exterior
○ Make sure your lights are in working order
○ Check your tire tread and inflation
○ Check your windshield washer fluid

Every 3 Months
○ Transmission fluid
○ Cables and battery
○ Belt condition
○ Engine oil and filter
○ Exhaust
○ Fuel filter
○ Power Steering

Every 6 Months
○ Engine air filter
○ Windshield wiper blades
○ Lubrication

Every Year
○ Cabin air filter
○ Coolant/Antifreeze

Conclusion

While this schedule is surely a useful foundation for a routine maintenance schedule, every car is different and could require specialized attention. Always be sure to consult your driver’s manual and a trusted mechanic for a second opinion on the plan that works best for your vehicle.