[QUOTE=Gill2003;436623]Oil is supposed to be changed based how you drive your car. The 3000 miles is based on stop and go traffic. If you use a good quality oil and a decent weight you should be ok for 5k. I use Mobile 1 Synthetic which can run be roughly 5-7.5k miles. But since I drive my card hard I try to change it before 5k.
But on my daily driver I change every 3-4k miles. You can feel a HUGE difference in oil when it breaks down, not to mention color.
But as for maintaining your car, you really need to make sure your oil and filter are kept up to date, even if you dont drive your car alot you outta change the oil after about 4-5 months (especially if its not synthetic). I’d recommend finding a magnetic oil plug if your car is newer. Air filter is important, although I wouldnt waste money on new ones all the time, just dust em off or vacuum them. Also, if your into efficiency and plan on keeping your for a long time, invest in a KN filter. They last forever, improve airflow and give you better response.
Also coolant is important. It can get old and gummy after a while. Never use ‘non factory’ coolant, it will ruin your cooling system, creating leaks quicker etc etc. But coolant is usually good for a while (70k more details on your car would be helpful). Flushes are a ripoff at the dealer. They essentially are just charging you for their time since there is very little labor. Do it yourself and dont use the ‘cleaners’ you can find at autozone. And dont use additives.
Fuel filters are a good investment too. You can do them yourself, their easy. They improve efficiency and keep your engine from knocking. I dont think there is a set time frame on these, but its more car specific.
But power steering flushes are pretty much pointless unless you drive your car hard through corners and its really old. Same with tranny fluid. Its usually good for atleast 100k on most cars and it depends on how you drive your car. The harder you drive the more it is important. You know how older cars ‘shift’ harder (automatics)? Thats usually because the fluid is breaking down.
Timing belt is important. Most cars these days can run 90k atleast. You can check them yourself and inspect them for cracks and tears etc etc. If you have timing chains, you may need to get them adjusted or tightened but it depends on your make. If you do get your timing belt chained, get the tensioner changed out too. That is over looked alot, if it is bad or goes bad the timing belt change was pointless! The garage shouldnt charge you anymore labor on it, since when they take the belt off the tensioner is right there and can be swapped out easily. You can also work on the water pump if you doing it urself and are have the time for it. Water pumps are funny, since they dont fail often, but when they do its a huge FAIL, So its a gamble, but depending on your car you outta be ok. For instance, on my VW the water pump is a known issue, so I changed it out and upgraded to metal fins so it doesnt break.
Alternator, AC, Batteries are wear and tear items and you dont need those worked on unless they go bad. Chassis lubrication is good, but I cant think of alot of cars that require joint lubrication anymore. Brake fluid and flushes are pointless unless you really push your car hard and your fluid is done. You can usually tell if your pedal feel changes after a series of stops. If the pedal gets spongy or softer you may need to change out your fluid or it might be more indepth. Normal driving you outta be ok. Brakepads and rotors you’ll notice when you need to change them. Dont let the shop talk you into getting new rotors unless their badly grooved (deep scratch). Just get them resurfaced if its been a while. Drum brakes are usually good forever. We’ve had the same factory drums on the jeep since I can remember. They dont wear out that much, but you can dismantle the drum easily and clean every now and then.
One thing alot of people over look are o2 sensors. A bad o2 sensor can really screw with your fuel economy and performance. There should be a factory schedule on them. They’re are really worth their cost. Do it yourself though, its not hard to do at all and the garage will charge you an arm and leg.
Alignments are a big waste of money, unless your getting new tires. Its pointless to get an alignment if your tires are already wearing in funny. Its not going to help. But if you get an alignment from the beginning and keep it aligned its worth it up until you hit the halfway mark for your tires. Oh and dont bother with ‘nitrogen’ fill in your tires. Unless its free, its not really worth it.
Intake/Fuel injection cleaning is a waste of money. Essentially all they do is stick a vacuum tube down your intake and use some version of fuel injection cleaner. I was pissed when I found out thats all they really did. You can do this yourself and do a much better job. Get some Mass Air Flow sensor cleaner (MAF Cleaner) and pull out your MAF and spray it down (follow the instructions). Then pull the intake tube off (generally just removing clamps) and just run a brush or towel through the tube (doesnt do much really). For the fuel injectors (im assuming you have a regular car) you can just put in 93 octane and some octane booster. All your really doing is burning off carbon buildup. If you really wanna go nuts and really clear out the crap in your engine, try out seafoam cleaner. You can read up on it online. Essentially you can put SeaFoam cleaner into your intake, oil, gas and literally burn out all your gunk. You gotta read about your car specific method, but thats what I did for my VW. You can see the gunk burn out of your exhaust. It looks like your cars on fire it smokes soo much!
Exhaust isnt something people really ‘need’ to ever get done unless its rusted through. Your catalytic converter probably wont ever need to be changed out. Just hit 80-90mph or so on the interstate and it’ll get hot enough to burn off any buildup.
Thats all I can think of right now. All this is relative to your car and how old it is and how much of an investment your willing to make. If your planning on keeping your car for a long time, i’d suggest getting your hands dirty and doing alot of this stuff yourself since its pretty easy. It’ll save you tons in the long run. If its older, you really gotta weigh the costs… Some cars require more maintenance then others. A quick google of your car make and model should reveal plenty of message boards and communities that can help you figure out in more detail specific maintenance for your car.
Feel free to post your car make and model![/QUOTE]
I am quite impressed. This is a great post (especially if you have a foreign car). The only other thing I can say is if you run BG fluids on transmission I HIGHLY recommend it.