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

Used Car Service Schedule: How to Plan

schedule car service in Indianapolis

Used Car Service Schedule: the Milestones to Adhere

For a new car, manufacturers always provide a list of maintenance procedures, and here we’ve collected the used car service schedule for you.

Most manufacturers use the 30-60-90 car service schedule. This means that certain elements must be checked or replaced at distances of 30, 60, and 90 thousand miles. By following a service schedule, you can prevent serious problems before they occur. Moreover, keeping the maintenance history record can also help increase its resale value.

With this comprehensive manual, you will get an understanding of how to plan your car maintenance.

Regular Car Maintenance

Some consumables, such as wiper blades, rubber pads, and tires, wear at irregular intervals and should be checked periodically. But for others, you can make a service schedule.

Oil and Oil Filter

While the engine is running, tiny particles of metal, dirt, and carbon enter the oil. To prevent excessive engine wear, you should change oil and oil filters regularly. Non-synthetic oil, which has traditionally been used in the past, had a rule of thumb of 3,000 miles. But today most car models run on a synthetic oil that can safely handle 5,000 to 10,000 miles, depending on the type.

Service up to 30,000 Miles

  • Air filter . 15,000 – 30,000 miles is the optimal value to change a clogged air filter. It makes it difficult for your engine to breathe and adversely affects performance. If you drive or park in a dusty area, replace the filter every 15,000 miles.
  • Fuel filter. If your fuel filter is clogged, the engine will not perform well. Fuel filter manufacturers’ offerings vary widely, but some recommend replacing it after 30,000 miles. Ask your mechanic for a diagnostic to determine the condition of the fuel filter.

Service up to 60,000 Miles

  • Battery . Age, extreme temperatures, and long periods of disuse affect its condition. Keep in mind that battery life is not measured by mileage, but by time. Most batteries should be changed after four or five years of operation, which allows the driver to travel about 40,000-50,000 miles.
  • Brake fluid . The brakes work through the hydraulic system. But when the liquid in this system is contaminated with water, its boiling point drops. It can turn into a compressed gas resulting in a soft brake pedal. To get the brakes working as expected, bleed the brake system and, if necessary, change the brake fluid according to the vehicle manual. Most manufacturers give recommendations to change the brake fluid every 20,000 – 40,000 miles.
  • Brake pads . These are designed to wear actively and usually squeal when they need to be replaced. Check them regularly. Good pads can last up to 50,000 miles.
  • Coolant . A mixture of water and antifreeze flows through the radiator to cool the vehicle. When losing too much coolant, the engine overheats, and it may cause serious damage. Schedule a coolant change every 60,000 miles, and make sure you get the whole cooling system flushed.
  • Transmission fluid. A low fluid level may cause shifting problems and result in a burned-out transmission. It is important to regularly monitor your transmission fluid rather than sticking to a specific mileage mark. Healthy fluid is pink and smells sweet, while fluid that needs replacing will be dark red or even brown with a burnt smell.

Service up to 90,000 Miles

  • Power steering fluid. A fluid level here can result in harsh steering or excessive wheel noise. Schedule a flush and fluid change for approximately 90,000 miles or if problems arise.
  • Ignition system . When ignition system components fail, the check engine light on the dashboard may come on, but not in every car. A hard starting or rough running of the vehicle can signal problems.
  • Timing belt. If your vehicle uses a timing belt rather than a chain, it will require this service. We recommend changing the belt between 60,000 and 90,000 miles, as belt failure can cause catastrophic damage, and you may find yourself stranded on the side of the road. If your vehicle uses a timing chain, you should also ask your mechanic to inspect it, as chain links can stretch.
  • Hoses. The hoses in a car contain a variety of fluids. An aged hose may cause problems, as the rubber often cracks. So check and replace if necessary, especially when your vehicle is approaching 6-digit mileage.

These are the general guidelines for a used car services schedule. However, the frequency of your visits to the service center will also depend on your car model, its age, your driving style, and many other factors. Anyway, you can avoid many expensive repairs simply by performing regular maintenance.

Does Insurance Cover Maintenance?

Car insurance typically does not include routine maintenance and service resulting from normal wear and tear.

How Much Is Monthly Maintenance on a Used Car?

The average monthly maintenance cost for a used car in Indianapolis is $99 plus about $165 for fuel.

For a more accurate maintenance plan and estimated costs, refer to the Indy Auto Man service center in Indianapolis.