Your Map for Preventive Vehicle Maintenance
Follow this guide and never miss an important car maintenance task.
Keep your miles behind the wheel worry-free with these basic maintenance tips. Always check your owner’s manual and work with a trusted mechanic to service your car regularly.
Cabin Air Filter
Replace every 12,000 to 15,000 miles.1
- Replace halogen lights after about 1,000 hours.
- LEDs have 20 times the lifespan of halogen lights. Replace them after 20,000 hours.
Wiper Arms and Blades3
- Windshield wiper arms have an average lifespan of 2 to 3 years.
- Replace the rubber blades every 6 to 12 months.
Test and replace the battery after 3 to 5 years. Mileage doesn’t count – a battery will age even sitting in a garage.4
Change after 30,000 to 50,000 miles.5
Engine Air Filter
Replace every 15,000 to 30,000 miles, or every 3 years if you don’t drive often.6
Fluid hoses should be replaced every 4 years.7
- Old rule of thumb: Change motor oil every 3,000 miles or 3 months, whichever comes first.8
- New take: More vehicles now run on synthetic oil, which can last from 7,500 to 10,000 miles.9
Power Steering Fluid
Replace every 2 years, or about every 30,000 to 100,000 miles.10
- Replace copper tip plugs after 30,000 miles.
- Replace platinum and iridium tip plugs after about 100,000 miles.
Replace every 60,000 to 100,000 miles.12
- Automatic: Change after 60,000 to 100,000 miles.
- Manual: Change every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. Under heavy-duty use, every 15,000 miles.
Windshield Washer Fluid
Refill at every service interval or change of seasons.14
Inspect and grease every 6 months.15
Inspect periodically for corrosion or signs of damage.16
Replace brake pads every 25,000 to 70,000 miles, depending on driving habits and environment.17
- Check tire inflation and tread depth every 1,000 to 3,000 miles.
- Rotate tires, if necessary, every 10,000 miles.
- Have wheels aligned every two years, or every 15,000 to 30,000 miles.
- 1 What’s a Cabin Air Filter and When Should You Replace It? Cars.com, 2016.
- 2 Are LED Headlights Better Than Halogen Headlights? Carfax, 2017.
- 3 The Lifespan of Windshield Wipers and What to Look for in New Ones, Select Auto Imports, 2018.
- 4 How Long Does a Car Battery Last? Angie’s List, 2015.
- 5 How Often Should I Change Engine Coolant? Cars.com, 2017.
- 6 How Often Should You Change the Engine Air Filter? Cars.com, 2016.
- 7 How Often Should Hoses Be Replaced? Your Mechanic, 2015.
- 8 Three Months, 3,000 Miles Or Longer?: The Truth About Oil Changes, Scientific American, 2018.
- 9 Are You Changing Your Oil Too Often? Chicago Tribune, 2016.
- 10 Do I Really Need to Flush My Car’s Power Steering Fluid? Angie’s List, 2015.
- 11 How Often Should I Change My Spark Plugs? Angie’s List, 2015.
- 12 How Long Do Timing Belts Last? HowStuffWorks, 2018.
- 13 Service Your Car, Car Talk, 2018.
- 14 How Often Do I Need to Refill the Windshield Washer Fluid? Your Mechanic, 2015.
- 15 How to Maintain Your Auto Chassis, Advance Auto Parts, 2017.
- 16 Should the Exhaust System Last the Life of a Vehicle? Cars.com, 2015.
- 17 How Often Should Brakes Be Replaced? Your Mechanic, 2015.
- 18 How Often Does the Suspension System Require Routine Maintenance? Your Mechanic, 2015.