Blog Car Care Advice 17 Essential Car Maintenance Services You Need to Know
Car Care Advice

17 Essential Car Maintenance Services You Need to Know

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The feel and performance of a new car don’t last forever. Over time, your vehicle requires regular auto maintenance services and tune-ups to ensure it runs smoothly.

But what types of auto repair services does your car need to stay in top shape?
Read on to explore 17 vital maintenance services every car owner should get for their vehicle. We’ll also fill you in on when these services are required.

This Article Contains:

17 Essential Car Services to Maximize Vehicle Performance

Doing a thorough pre-purchase inspection before buying a car ensures the new car is in top condition. But to keep it that way, you’ll need regular maintenance and car care services. 

Below are some common car maintenance services you shouldn’t avoid:

1. Tire Services

Tires provide the traction needed for your vehicle to move and stop. However, direct contact with the road makes them susceptible to wear and tear. So, you must get them routinely checked during car service.

Here’s what an auto repair mechanic would do during tire services:

2. Fuel System Service

The fuel system delivers fuel to the engine so your vehicle can move. But over time, fuel components, such as the fuel filter and injectors, become clogged with dirt and carbon buildup. During a fuel system repair service, the fuel system is cleaned, and the fuel filter is replaced. 

You can also add a fuel additive every 3,000-mile interval to prevent deposits and improve vehicle performance. And if you’re unsure about which additive to use, consult with professional auto care mechanics.

3. Oil Change Service

Motor oil plays a crucial role in engine maintenance. But dirty motor oil can do more harm than good. It can cause severe damage to engine parts and trigger an engine breakdown, leading to costly repairs or, in the worst case, an engine replacement. 

To avoid expensive repairs, have an auto service mechanic perform an engine oil change every 5,000 to 7,500 miles.

But remember: The ideal interval between oil changes can depend on your car’s needs, driving habits, oil filter quality, and the type of engine oil you use. Plus, a new car may require less frequent oil change service

4. Air Conditioning Service

The air conditioning system provides cool air that helps you drive comfortably on hot days. 

But here’s the thing: 
Prolonged system use without an air conditioning service can cause malfunctions, leaving you hot and uncomfortable.

That’s why you should get AC repair services at least twice a year. A comprehensive AC repair service includes inspecting the HVAC system, checking refrigerant levels, cleaning filters, and electrical services, like examining wire connections.

5. Windshield Wiper Replacement 

Wiper blades are essential for removing rain, snow, and debris from your windshield. Worn or damaged windshield wipers may not effectively clear the windshield, impairing your visibility, especially in adverse weather conditions.

Get a windshield wiper blade replacement annually or whenever their performance declines.

6. Engine and Cabin Air Filter Replacement 

The engine air filter prevents dirt from entering your engine, while the cabin air filter prevents impurities from entering your car’s air circulation.

During car servicing, an automotive mechanic will inspect your air filters for clogging and replace them if necessary. You should get scheduled maintenance checks for air filters every 12 months or 15,000 miles (or anytime they get too dirty).

7. Coolant Fluid Replacement

The engine’s cooling system requires coolant fluid to prevent overheating. However, over time, the coolant can become contaminated with debris, making it ineffective.

To avoid an unexpected breakdown and expensive engine services, including potential engine replacement, ensure your coolant fluid is replaced at 30,000-mile intervals.

Note: You should also consider getting a radiator repair service every 8 to 10 years to maintain the overall efficiency of your cooling system.

8. Brake Service

The brake system ensures you can slow down and stop your vehicle safely. But if you notice reduced brake performance, you should visit an auto repair shop for a complete brake repair service.

Brake service will generally involve:

How often should you get a brake repair?
It’s recommended to get a brake service every 30,000 to 70,000 miles. 

You should get a brake pad replacement approximately every 30,000 to 35,000 miles, while brake fluid needs to be changed every two years to ensure optimal performance.

9. Spark Plug Replacement

Spark plugs provide the spark for your car’s ignition system. Due to high temperatures, they can become damaged and worn, causing your check engine light to turn on.

It’s advised to have your local auto repair shop or dealership inspect and replace your spark plugs every 30,000 to 90,000 miles.

10. Transmission Fluid Replacement

Transmission fluid, which lubricates the components of a car’s transmission, can become thin due to the high engine temperatures. This leads to rough shifting and gears slipping.

If you drive a manual car, an auto repair mechanic usually performs a transmission fluid flush every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. However, in the case of automatic vehicles, they may need to change it only after 100,000 miles. 

But if you’re already experiencing the signs, you should get a transmission repair ASAP.

11. Power Steering Repair

The power steering system helps you steer that heavy chunk of metal that is a car. However, it can become ineffective if dirt clogs its components, necessitating power steering repair.

A mechanic will check the power steering components and fluid levels during scheduled maintenance. If the fluid levels are low, they’ll replenish them with a power steering fluid flush. Ideally, vehicles need a power steering fluid flush every 40,000 to 80,000 miles.

12. Suspension Repair

The suspension system consists of springs, shock absorbers, struts, and ball joints. These parts work together to absorb bumps and vibrations from the road for smooth and stable driving.

Regular undercar services and suspension repair can help you detect and resolve suspension issues early on. You should get suspension system repair services every 50,000 to 100,000 miles.

13. Hose Replacement 

Various hoses help your car run smoothly. However, they may develop swelling, tears, and cracks due to regular usage, high temperatures, or abrasive debris.

What can you do about it? 
To prevent a check engine light warning, get general services like hose replacement every four years during car maintenance. 

14. Clutch Repair

Driving a manual vehicle?
The clutch allows for easy gear shifting and controlling the car’s speed. However, it can lose effectiveness and become too stiff or loose over time, leading to shift problems.

While getting routine maintenance or auto repair services, you should ask your mechanic if you need clutch repair since these parts typically last around 60,000 miles.

15. Battery Replacement

High temperatures during long drives or hot days can impact your car battery, leading to battery drain. This can also strain the alternator, which is responsible for charging the battery and powering the car’s electrical system. 

An auto repair mechanic will test your car battery and alternator during routine maintenance to ensure they function optimally. If your battery is worn or unable to hold its charge, they may replace it.

Generally, it’s best to get a battery replacement every 4 to 5 years.

16. Timing Belt and Serpentine Belt Replacement

The timing and serpentine belts are crucial to your engine’s functioning. However, these belts wear out over time due to heat and physical damage. 

As a vehicle owner, it’s essential to have a mechanic check your belts per your vehicle’s manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedule — around every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. During vehicle maintenance, the mechanic will visually inspect the belts for signs of damage and replace them.

17. Collision Repair

Every car owner fears being involved in a car accident. With the hassle of insurance and costly roadside assistance, it’s no wonder some people ignore car repair after a crash. 

That said, getting collision repair to mitigate the damage is crucial. Your car warranty may cover some of these auto maintenance services, including dent or scratch removal, auto detailing, engine services, power accessory repair, etc.

Now that we know which car care services are essential to maintain your vehicle’s reliability, let’s explore the different situations in which you should get them.

When Should You Service Your Car?

Whether you buy a new or old car, a pre-purchase inspection and regular maintenance are crucial for its overall health and performance.

You should get preventative maintenance and electrical services at least once a year or every 12,000 miles. But, maintenance frequency can vary depending on the terrain, weather conditions, and the type of vehicle you drive.

 Here are a few situations in which you’ll need to get your car serviced sooner:

For information on vehicle maintenance and service intervals, refer to your owner’s manual, as different car parts have different servicing frequencies.

Curious about the standard duration of these auto services?
Read on to find out.

How Long Does a Car Service Take?

General services that typically involve fewer checks, such as car oil and filter changes or a routine safety inspection of brakes, lights, and fluid levels, can take 1 to 2 hours. 

In contrast, a full service, which includes all basic checks plus auto services like wheel alignment, transmission service, engine repair, and replacing brake pads, can take 3 to 4 hours.

However, it’s best to consult a mechanic for an accurate automotive service time estimate.

Car Maintenance Made Easy with AutoNation Mobile Service

According to the Car Care Council, regular maintenance services, such as engine repair, transmission service, and air filter replacement, can help enhance your vehicle’s performance.

To avoid potential issues, adhere to your car’s maintenance schedule and visit a qualified professional for regular inspections and repairs.

Looking for a reliable car maintenance service provider? 
AutoNation Mobile Service is a mobile car repair and maintenance solution offering competitive pricing and stellar customer service.

Contact us if you need transmission repair, engine maintenance, or other miscellaneous services like starter repair, and our mechanics will tackle it right in your driveway.