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Why should I follow the factory-recommended maintenance guidelines?

Posted by tom zoebelein on Fri, Jul 05, 2013 @ 07:05 AM

Ward Automotive

Owning a car can be fun and extremely useful, but it also comes with a whole load of extra responsibility.  Besides maintaining your insurance coverage, registration, and Maryland emissions inspections, you are also expected to have your car regularly serviced.  But why is it so important to service your car according to what the factory recommends?  And how frequently do you have to do it? 

To help clear up some of the confusion, here is our guide to general car maintenance procedures.

First, the big question: why?
When your car was designed and built by the manufacturer, it was created to operate under specific conditions.  In order to keep your vehicle operating at its best, you’ll need to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance intervals.  If you neglect this maintenance, your hardest working components will stop performing at their best, which will force other components of the car to work even harder.  This could ultimately lead to catastrophic failure of major components, which would be very costly to repair.

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What are the general guidelines for maintenance intervals?
As a general rule of thumb, we recommend that you have your car serviced at 30,000 miles, 60,000 miles, and 100,000 miles.  Here are the procedures they would typically include:

  • 30,000 miles (or after 2 years) = Engine air filter change, cabin air filter change, oil change, tire rotation, brake fluid flush.

  • 60,000 miles (or after 5 years) = Same as the 30k maintenance, plus a transmission fluid flush.

  • 100,000 miles (or after 10 years) = Same as the 30k and 60k maintenance, plus spark plug replacement, water pump replacement, timing belt replacement (if needed), differential fluid change, and transfer case fluid change.

Severe duty vs. normal duty and what that means for you.
In the automotive repair industry, we have two different categories for maintenance: severe duty and normal duty.  The type of maintenance you need is determined by the kind of driving you typically do.

  • Severe duty = If you do any off-roading with your vehicle or endure extended periods of idling, stop and go driving, extreme temperatures, or dusty conditions, then this is the type of maintenance you’ll need.  Because most of us do a lot of stop and go driving, even if we aren’t doing any off-roading, this is the type of maintenance that is most often performed.  Severe duty maintenance entails more frequent changes of fluids and filters.

  • Normal duty = If you drive the vehicle less than 12,000 miles a year, have a very short commute to work, and don’t do a lot of stop and go driving, then this is the type of maintenance you’ll need.  Instead of basing your maintenance intervals on mileage, you could probably wait until the recommended time has passed.  For instance, instead of having your vehicle serviced at 30,000 miles, you could probably wait until after 2 years have passed.

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These are very general guidelines, so it’s important that you check your owner’s manual for your specific factory-recommended maintenance. 

For automotive service in Harford County, call Ward Automotive.
We service every town in Harford County, including Aberdeen, Bel Air, Burns Corner, Darlington, Edgewood, Fallston, Havre de Grace, Hickory Hills, Jarrettsville, Joppatowne, Perryman, Pleasant Hills, Pylesville, and Riverside.  If you are looking for a neighborhood auto repair shop that you can trust, Bel Air Autobody and Ward Automotive have been servicing the residents of Harford County, Maryland for over 20 years.

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Topics: Autobody mechanic Bel Air Maryland, tune-up, general car maintenance, factory-recommended maintenance, maintenance intervals, recommended services, severe duty vs. normal duty