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Your vehicle also requires maintenance tasks that are performed less frequently, but are vital to allowing your automobile to live a long and fruitful life. These tasks include oil changes, tire rotations, replacing transmission fluid, and the like.

Don’t follow the dealer’s or mechanics’ recommended maintenance schedule. They often suggest that you come in more frequently and perform maintenance that you really don’t need. For example, most quick lube and dealership service shops recommend you bring your car in every 3,000 miles for an oil change, despite the fact that most modern engines are designed to run for 5,000 miles before needing one. Another example is coolant replacement. A lot of mechanics recommend having it replaced every 30,000 miles, but many vehicles don’t need this service until they reach four times that. And after the 120k mark, manufacturers often recommend the coolant be replaced only every 60,000 miles.

Instead of relying on Larry at the KwikLube to tell you when you should service your car, pop open your glove compartment (or “jockey box” for you gents living in the Mountain West region), and pull out your owner’s manual. There should be a section where it lists the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, which tells you how often to get your oil changed, rotate the tires, and replace fluids and parts. If you can’t find the owner’s manual, a quick Google search will bring it up. By following your vehicle’s ideal maintenance schedule, you can prevent costly inspections, repairs, and replacements, and keep your car humming for many years.

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