Indy Auto Man
Indy Auto Man
Closed. Opens Monday at 9:00 AM
Closed. Opens Monday at 9:00 AM

Basic Car Maintenance Guide

car maintenance in Indianapolis | Indy Auto Man

Regular Car Maintenance and Service in Indianapolis

Сars of any age and mileage require regular maintenance and care – the trouble-free operation of the vehicle depends on the quality and regularity of these procedures. Here, as elsewhere, the golden rule applies – it is cheaper and easier to prevent than to treat later. A small problem can cause irreparable harm. For example, a torn boot can lead to engine failure.

You can find all the necessary information about regular vehicle maintenance in the owner’s manual. And this guide will clarify some points regarding what work must be done during maintenance and how you can save on it.

What Is Basic Maintenance for a Car?

car maintenance list

Any machine requires the replacement of consumables and spare parts, inspection, and adjustment of its components.

Regular vehicle service consists of diagnostics of its systems, checking the level and replacing operating fluids, filters, spark plugs, brake pads, and other consumables. Regardless of the car model, during the basic maintenance at Indy Auto Man the mechanics check:

  • oil, air, and cabin filters;
  • level of coolant, brake fluid, and power steering fluid;
  • integrity and tension of the drive belt;
  • condition of suspension and steering elements;
  • brake mechanisms, and the residual thickness of the brake pads.

They also inspect the body and paintwork for damage that can lead to corrosion.

The complete list of works that will be carried out on your vehicle during scheduled maintenance may vary depending on the following conditions:

  • Vehicle mileage and service period. The maintenance regulations may prescribe certain types of work at different stages of the car’s life.
  • Construction features of the particular vehicle, fuel type, gearbox, and transmission. Let’s take turbodiesel cars as an example: manufacturers recommend checking the condition of the turbine and related systems. All-wheel drive vehicles require periodic oil changes.

During maintenance, you should indicate all the problems and shortcomings in the car’s operation to the service staff. They will thoroughly inspect the issue and, if necessary, repair or replace the broken components. But if you feel, that you spend too much on maintenance and repairs, maybe the time comes to consider buying another vehicle.

How Much Does Maintenance Cost, and Can I Save on It?

how to save on maintenance

The maintenance cost depends on the scope of work, car model, and the complexity of its construction. The bill will include the price of spare parts, materials, and work.

Also, additional equipment installed on the car may affect the final price. For example, before changing the engine oil crankcase protection must be removed.

There are several ways to save on maintenance costs:

  • do all the work yourself;
  • purchase the necessary consumables and spare parts in advance and come to the service with them.

When carrying out maintenance on your own, if you have sufficient qualifications and a place where you can take care of the car, you can save a lot on the cost of work – just purchase consumables following the automaker’s regulations. DIY is a good option only when you are 100% confident in your experience. In other cases, it is better to entrust the car servicing to professionals. Any mistakes during maintenance made due to inexperience may lead to the need for complicated repairs and additional costs.

How Often Should a Car Have Maintenance?

Indy Auto Man service center Indianapolis

For most cars, SUVs, and trucks regular maintenance begins at five thousand miles and continues every 5,000-10,000 miles .

Engine Maintenance

Regular maintenance necessarily includes car engine care. Quality of engine oil and timely replacement of filters (oil, air, fuel) is responsible for the engine’s durability. It is recommended to change the oil every 3,000 miles . Under more difficult operating conditions, the oil should be changed more often.

You can easily check if it is time to change the oil. The obvious signs are:

  • Muddy color;
  • Palpable particles of dirt.

If the oil seems clean after 3,000 – 5,000 miles, change it anyway since the detergent additives in engine oil lose their quality over time. You can perform this procedure yourself, but at the service station, you will get it done quickly, cleanly, and efficiently.

Sometimes you need to top up the oil. It is worth worrying if the oil level becomes higher – this indicates that somewhere the tightness of the cooling system gasket or the gasoline pump membrane has been broken, and foreign liquids enter the oil.

And if the level of oil is constantly decreasing, it’s a warning signal, and a reason to visit a service center a bit earlier than recommended in your maintenance manual.

Brake System

Be sure to check the condition of the brake pads once a year . If you are an adherent of a sharp ride, your brake system may require maintenance more often. A squeak can signal worn pads.

Don’t forget about brake fluid. You do not need to change it frequently but monitor the level. Drives need to be replaced on average once every two years. Check the vacuum brake booster every three years or after 20-30 thousand miles.

Ignition System

Ignition plugs are responsible for the formation of a spark for the combustion of the mixture. In most modern cars, the maintenance of the ignition system is reduced to the timely replacement of spark plugs. However, follow the instructions in your car’s service book, as there are exceptions everywhere. Let’s consider the average case. After every 30,000 miles of the run, you should replace ignition plugs regardless of their condition.

Modern electronic ignition systems require compliance with numerous safety rules. If you are not completely versed in the car’s equipment, it is better to entrust this procedure to professionals. A specialist can evaluate the engine quality by the condition of the plug. Light brown soot indicates the normal operation of the engine (these are natural formations), a black coating, or a very light one, will signal problems. You will be informed about them additionally, and be able to take timely measures.

Cooling system

The cooling system prevents overheating or hypothermia of the engine. In case of overheating, the oil liquefies and loses its properties, lubricating qualities reduce to zero, friction leads to wear, loss of power, and increased fuel consumption. When supercooled, the oil thickens and does not provide the necessary lubricating functions. The cooling system should be serviced every five years or 30,000 miles .


Once a year , it is necessary to check the condition of the steering: the condition of the steering rods, their tips, hinges, protective caps, and covers of the steering mechanism.

In general, caps and cases can last a very long time, but if dirt or water gets under them, they wear out fairly quickly.

What Happens If I Don’t Service My Car?

Service station Indianapolis

Your car is a living, albeit iron body. It requires regular maintenance and attention. While the vehicle is under warranty, most car enthusiasts do not think of where to service it and buy auto parts. After this period, many drivers forget the need to carry out regular maintenance. But only with careful care, your car will last long.

Entrust your car to the Indy Auto Man service station in Indianapolis. We offer not only top-quality repairs and outstanding customer service but also a rich selection and provision of spare parts. Save your time, money, and effort – schedule your visit already today!