A vehicle is a huge investment and needless to say, you’ll want to do everything you can to make it last as long as possible. Luckily, that’s not too complicated: The best way to ensure that your vehicle remains running for years to come is by staying on schedule with the various maintenance services it requires. Some of these services are no-brainers, such as getting your car’s oil changed every few thousand miles, but others are less commonly known.

Of course, the best way to know exactly when to have scheduled maintenance done on your specific vehicle is by reading through your owner’s manual. However, if you’re short on time, the following is a list of critical, scheduled maintenance services and how often you’ll want to conduct each one.

Timeline For Auto Maintenance


There are a variety of things you should be checking on a monthly basis, but arguably the most important one is your tires. In order to make sure your tires are at their best, you’ll want to check both the condition of your tires, as well as their inflation levels every month. In addition, the taillights and headlights of your vehicle should also be checked and changed immediately if they are out. And although a messy car won’t necessarily affect it’s performance on the road, it’s also advised that you clean out your vehicle every month in order to keep it in like-new condition for as long as possible — unless you prefer a messy car, that is.

Every 3 Months/3,000 Miles

 The majority of scheduled maintenance services take place during this time period. Vehicle owners will want to check their car’s automatic transmission fluid, battery and cables, belts, engine air filter, exhaust, hoses, power steering fluid, and windshield wiper fluid. While this may seem like a lot, each of these is important in its own way, whether it ensures your safety or the safety of your engine, and should not be overlooked.

Every 6 Months/ 6,000 Miles

Your vehicle’s windshield wipers should be changed at least twice a year. What’s more, this is also a good time to take your vehicle in to a professional mechanic and get its battery serviced and its tires rotated to ensure your vehicle is properly balanced.

Every Year/12,000 miles

Each year before winter, it’s important to check your coolant level; it’s usually recommended that you change your vehicle’s coolant once a year. You’ll also want to take a look at your sparkplugs, brakes, and cabin air filter. Another thing to note: Sparkplugs generally need to be replaced every 30,000 to 100,000 miles. Also, make sure to check your vehicle’s entire braking system, including linings, rotors and drums at least once a year. This is especially important because neglecting to check your brakes can result in both car damage and personal harm.

 Keeping up with your vehicle’s maintenance will not only ensure your car continues to run smoothly, but it also reduces the likelihood of a crash due to an internal problem. However, while these tips are useful, it’s still encouraged that you refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual in order to get the exact mileage of when to conduct each of these services.

Written by Marc LaFerriere at Dents Unlimited & Toalson Glass. Marc and his expert staff offer the best service and auto repair Columbia, MO has to offer.