Oil Changes

Change oil and filter at 3,000 miles if using regular mineral base oil or 5,000-8,000 miles if using synthetic oil. If you mainly do short trips, mineral base oil will tend to gel and form sludge if it isn't changed on time. Sludge is like plaque in arteries. It clogs the oil passages and can cause an engine to die.

Tire Rotation

Rotate tires every other oil change (6,000-10,000 miles). This helps them wear evenly. This is especially important on all wheel drive vehicles because it is usually necessary to replace all 4 tires even if only two are worn out.


Alignment should be done at least yearly or sooner if uneven tire wear is apparent.

Antifreeze, Transmission Fluid, Brake Fluid and Power Steering Fluid

All these fluids should be changed periodically. It is best to perform a flush rather than just drain and fill because flushing replaces 100% of the fluid. A simple test will indicate when these fluids are due for changing.

Spark Plugs

Platinum tipped should be changed at 60,000 miles. Some manufacturers recommend 100,000 miles and modern high energy ignition systems will fire plugs even when they are worn out but this causes other ignition components like the coils to overwork causing premature failures.

Timing Belt

Replace the timing belt when due (60,000-105,000 miles depending on make and year). A broken timing belt will usually result in extensive engine damage.

Fuel Filter

Fuel filters should be replaced at 60,000 miles or sooner. A clogged filter will cause the fuel pump to overheat and possibly fail. The fuel in the tank cools the fuel pump, so it's a good idea to keep the fuel level above ¼ tank, especially in summer.

Wiper Blades

These only last about a year. Since it doesn't rain much in Colorado, the blades just sit on the windshield and develop a curl that causes them to streak and chatter.

Maintenance Is Cheaper Than Repair!


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