This topic is probably one of the most mysterious things, regarding car ownership. Many people leave this completely up to the stealership. Bad move. Their job is to make money, not to be your friend. They will tell you anything you gotta hear, in order to take your money. And dont be fooled, by that fast talking “service advisor” typing up your complaint; he/she is making a commission on the "spif" (Sales Performance Incentive Fund) he or she is coercing you to sign off, on. Yes, they gets paid MORE MONEY, when they, up sell you, into synthetic oils, or services you dont really need (yet). Pissed off yet? Aside from the fast talking “service advisors” you also have to content with the dealership creating its own service schedule. That dealer created service schedule often entails more frequent visits to the dealership, than your owners manual had intended on. But don’t go and grab your owners manual and follow it to the “t”. It too has flaws. Often major flaws. Let me explain… Car manufacturers now a days have a secrete race, and its to make their cars appear as simply and cheap to maintain as possible. Obviously the cheaper a car is to maintain, the cheaper the ‘overall cost of ownership’ is. And that’s HUGE to any manufacturer. So what does one do, to make their cars appear less ‘needy’ than the next? STRIP DOWN THE OWNERS MANUALS’ SERVICE SCHEDULE DOWN TO THE BARE BONES! I have seen some owners manuals completely neglect to mention that the transfer-case and rear carrier(differential) should have its fluid replaced. Insane, I know! So that’s why I created this simple list. You can amend it as you see fit. Personally, this is a good list for your average driver. Obviously if you live in an area that’s really-really hot (Arizona) or an area that’s very humid(Seattle), or in an area that’s very cold(Northern Canada) or you tow, have a heavy foot, or do a lot of city driving = then you should amend this list you are about to read, to better suit your driving style/conditions.
CV-Joint Axles: should be inspected every oil change. (you will notice grease stains on the insides of your rims the flat area's)
engine coolant: every 75k is fine
spark plugs: inspect at 50k, replace at 75k (yes, i know its early by about 25k = but its better to replace it early, than have it fail 200miles from home)
transmission fluid: every 30k, a check should be done. replace as needed
transfercase: every 30k - 50k.
rear differential: every 30k - 50k.
brake fluid: replace every 15k - 30k (inspect the color every oil or air filter change)
engine air filter: inspect every oil change, and replace when dirty
cabin filter: replace at the beginning of every spring (to prevent allergies, and breathe easier)
wax the exterior: twice a year (pre-winter, and pre-summer)
tire pressure: inspect every month. its a serious safety concern
light bulbs: check them every 4 times a year with a friend to help
R134a(Freon): you can check in the middle of the spring to see the level. if its cold, dont worry about it.
Fuel Filter: most cars now a days, don’t have a serviceable filter. Check your make/model to be sure
fuel injectors: there is no way to clean them, unless you physically remove them, and send them to an ultra-sonic cleaning machine shop. regular fuel additives is 'ok', but not a true cleaning. and thats all the dealer does anyway when they say "fuel injector cleaning". its a total scam