How to Keep Up With Factory Service Intervals

Today, we’re going to cover why keeping up with Factory Service Intervals is important to your vehicle’s overall health and performance. Now more than ever before, a new car is a big expense. So, it’s in most people’s best interests to keep their old car in good shape for as long as possible.

Budgeting for Car Maintenance

A recent AAA study found that maintenance following the factory recommended service intervals costs drivers an average of $0.094 per mile driven annually. On average, Americans drive 14,263 miles per year according to the Federal Highway Administration. So, that works out to an average driver spending about $1340.72 per year on car maintenance.

Investing app Acorns reports that the average American spends about $1,100 per year just on coffee. So, if we look at the big picture, car maintenance isn’t really that much more than that morning cup of joe.

Factory Service Intervals

Factory Maintenance Intervals vary by year, make, and model, as well as driving conditions. You’ll find the specific recommendations for your vehicle listed in the owner’s manual, or by contacting your favorite auto repair shop or dealership. Most (if not all) should be able to find the service intervals for your specific vehicle.

Fluids – Motor Oil, Transmission Fluid, Differential Fluid, Power Steering Fluid, Brake Fluid, and Clutch Fluid all break down over time, and need to be replaced at different intervals. Most people are aware that motor oil should be changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, on average. But, most people are *not* aware that brake fluid should be changed every 24 months to prevent corrosion inside the brake system.

Filters – Your car’s filters (Engine Air Filter, Cabin Air Filter, Oil Filter, Fuel Filter, Transmission Filter, etc.) are also an important part of any preventative maintenance plan. These filters have the critical job of filtering out impurities and contaminants from various systems. Again, most people are aware that the Oil Filter should be changed every 3-5k Miles on average, but forget to change their Cabin Air Filter about every 30,000 miles to prevent the evaporator from becoming clogged with dirt, dust, and other contaminants.

Belts, Hoses, and Other Consumables. – The Serpentine Belt is often forgotten about until it breaks. Although may seem like a simple piece of rubber, your vehicle’s serpentine belt is essential to keeping your car running by powering peripheral devices such as your alternator, power steering pump, and air conditioner compressor. Visually inspect the belt to ensure that it is free of cracks or other wear and tear. Replacement is commonly recommended around the 60,000 mile mark.

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