Author Topic: mustachian car maintenance schedule  (Read 7299 times)

Case

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mustachian car maintenance schedule
« on: February 08, 2016, 05:41:22 AM »
I have a 2001 camry, with ~95,000 miles ( a car which I love, btw!).  Mustachian dream car.

I am trying to figure out how much preventative maintenance I really need on it.

I get an oil change every 5000 miles; it seems pretty widely accepted that the need for a 3000 mile standard is widely exaggerated.

What I'm curious about is when I actually need transmission and coolants flush?  I think I'm do; i'm a little over 30,000 miles and 5 years since my last transmission flush.  I'm not sure when I last had a coolants flush, but it has been a long time.

Le Poisson

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Re: mustachian car maintenance schedule
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2016, 07:43:45 AM »
I was thinking about this on my drive to work today. Since I only cover about 12 km/day, I bike a lot in good weather (Spring/summer/fall - wimp out in winter), and the car sits. 

So I never reach the mileage limit for an oil change. My car is a Chev Sonic, with 48,000 km (29,800 miles) which I think is pretty Mustachian as well. Checking the owners manual, I need a change every 12,000 km (7500 miles). That would be about every 9 months. Many folks will tell you that the oil degrades faster than this, so I try to change it spring and fall, on my own.

I also put on winter tires/summer tires at the same time, so I don't need to really "Rotate the tires" so much as I just mount them in the next position.

Sometimes I wonder if this schedule is a little too Mustachian - like on the drive in this morning. but it seems to be working so far.

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Re: mustachian car maintenance schedule
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2016, 07:47:11 AM »
I do most of my maintenance myself and this is what I would do to maintain your Camry

Coolant: buy 1 or 2 gallon of pre-mixed coolant for about 12$ each. Remove the radiator cap, poor off the old coolant (from a plug at the radiator bottom or unplugging the big coolant hose). Fill and let run the engine few minutes with the radiator cap off. This method will renew about 75% of the coolant content. If the coolant is really disgusting, do it twice and you get a 90% perfect job for 25$ and 30 minutes of labor.

Transmission: DIY (5$ and 30 minutes) if it's a manual transmission every 100k miles. For an automatic transmission, a professional flush is better but 30k miles and 5 years is nothing!

Inspect and replace air filter and cabin filter (10$ each, 10 minutes to inspect and replace both)

Brakes: flush the entire system with 1-2 quart of DOT3 brake fluid (5$ each). You'll need a turkey baster and 2 feets of clear tubing. For a 1rst timer, it wil take you about 1 hour for the entire job. Do it every 5 years. If your car is a manual transmision, usualy it's the same fluid and procedure for the cluth master-cylinder. Clean and lube the caliper's slider pins with silicon grease. You may have to replace the boots...

Inspect and replace straps (serpentine) 20$, 20 minutes (some model require a special tool you can borrow from the parts store)

Power steering: DIY flush, 5$ and 30 minutes

You got plenty of good video on Youtube with this exact car model/year

Everything on this list will cost 100$ and +/- the entire day but will keep your car in good shape for many years to go.


zolotiyeruki

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Re: mustachian car maintenance schedule
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2016, 10:14:16 AM »
FWIW, for our Honda van, the manufacturer-approved method of the transmission flush is this:
1) drain it
2) add 3 quarts of transmission fluid
3) drive it around for a few minutes, making sure to cycle through all the gears
4) do steps 1-3 twice more

I've heard bad things about flushes where a machine pumps the fluid through your transmission.  I guess in some cases it can cause damage because it's applying pressure where it's not expected.

Roots&Wings

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Re: mustachian car maintenance schedule
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2016, 10:14:39 AM »
Do you not have your Owner's Manual maintenance schedule? That is what I follow and use a basic spreadsheet where I track all maintenance items with cost and date. I tried to copy it here but the table doesn't paste properly. The specifics will vary for your car make/model.

Oil & filter - every 6k miles or 6 months
Cabin air filter - every 2 yrs
Engine air filter - every 15k miles
Wipers - as needed ~5 yrs
Tire rotation - every 7.5k miles (check if needed)
Spark plugs - 105k miles
Automatic transmission fluid - every 30k miles or 2 yrs
Timing belt - every 7 yrs
Engine coolant - every 5 yrs
Brake fluid - every 3 yrs

Exflyboy

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Re: mustachian car maintenance schedule
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2016, 11:07:30 AM »
Do you not have your Owner's Manual maintenance schedule? That is what I follow and use a basic spreadsheet where I track all maintenance items with cost and date. I tried to copy it here but the table doesn't paste properly. The specifics will vary for your car make/model.

Oil & filter - every 6k miles or 6 months
Cabin air filter - every 2 yrs
Engine air filter - every 15k miles
Wipers - as needed ~5 yrs
Tire rotation - every 7.5k miles (check if needed)
Spark plugs - 105k miles
Automatic transmission fluid - every 30k miles or 2 yrs
Timing belt - every 7 yrs
Engine coolant - every 5 yrs
Brake fluid - every 3 yrs

I agree with all of this except the timing belt and brake fluid change..

3 years is a bit excessive for brake fluid changes. more like 6 years.

The timing belt will have both and age limit and a milage limit.. Do a search online to figure out when the T belt needs to be changed.. They are normally between 60 and 100,000 miles.

I don't know if this is an interference engine or not (once again search online or better read the manual.

If it is a non interference and the belt breaks (which it WILL do eventually) the engine simply stops running and strands you somewhere.

It it is an interference motor it will smash your engine up basically.. Clearly need to change it it at the right interval. While your in there I would change the water pump and the cam and crank seals as you have stripped the motor down that far and if they leak after you put it back together you get to take it all apart again.

Case

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Re: mustachian car maintenance schedule
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2016, 07:20:28 PM »
Of course, but I am looking for the mustachian recommended, not the manufacturer recommended.

Do you not have your Owner's Manual maintenance schedule? That is what I follow and use a basic spreadsheet where I track all maintenance items with cost and date. I tried to copy it here but the table doesn't paste properly. The specifics will vary for your car make/model.

Oil & filter - every 6k miles or 6 months
Cabin air filter - every 2 yrs
Engine air filter - every 15k miles
Wipers - as needed ~5 yrs
Tire rotation - every 7.5k miles (check if needed)
Spark plugs - 105k miles
Automatic transmission fluid - every 30k miles or 2 yrs
Timing belt - every 7 yrs
Engine coolant - every 5 yrs
Brake fluid - every 3 yrs

Case

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Re: mustachian car maintenance schedule
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2016, 07:22:40 PM »
Do you not have your Owner's Manual maintenance schedule? That is what I follow and use a basic spreadsheet where I track all maintenance items with cost and date. I tried to copy it here but the table doesn't paste properly. The specifics will vary for your car make/model.

Oil & filter - every 6k miles or 6 months
Cabin air filter - every 2 yrs
Engine air filter - every 15k miles
Wipers - as needed ~5 yrs
Tire rotation - every 7.5k miles (check if needed)
Spark plugs - 105k miles
Automatic transmission fluid - every 30k miles or 2 yrs
Timing belt - every 7 yrs
Engine coolant - every 5 yrs
Brake fluid - every 3 yrs

I agree with all of this except the timing belt and brake fluid change..

3 years is a bit excessive for brake fluid changes. more like 6 years.

The timing belt will have both and age limit and a milage limit.. Do a search online to figure out when the T belt needs to be changed.. They are normally between 60 and 100,000 miles.

I don't know if this is an interference engine or not (once again search online or better read the manual.

If it is a non interference and the belt breaks (which it WILL do eventually) the engine simply stops running and strands you somewhere.

It it is an interference motor it will smash your engine up basically.. Clearly need to change it it at the right interval. While your in there I would change the water pump and the cam and crank seals as you have stripped the motor down that far and if they leak after you put it back together you get to take it all apart again.

I did actually replace the timing belt (and water pump and serpentine belt) around ~90,000 miles (was 14 years old at that time, and I store it outdoors in a cold midwestern state!)

Thanks for all of your advice.  I will look into some DIY stuff... just don't want to accidentally mess it up.

Le Poisson

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Re: mustachian car maintenance schedule
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2016, 09:48:25 PM »
Of course, but I am looking for the mustachian recommended, not the manufacturer recommended.

Do you not have your Owner's Manual maintenance schedule? That is what I follow and use a basic spreadsheet where I track all maintenance items with cost and date. I tried to copy it here but the table doesn't paste properly. The specifics will vary for your car make/model.

Oil & filter - every 6k miles or 6 months
Cabin air filter - every 2 yrs
Engine air filter - every 15k miles
Wipers - as needed ~5 yrs
Tire rotation - every 7.5k miles (check if needed)
Spark plugs - 105k miles
Automatic transmission fluid - every 30k miles or 2 yrs
Timing belt - every 7 yrs
Engine coolant - every 5 yrs
Brake fluid - every 3 yrs

Be careful here - there is "Dealer Recommended", "Cheapo oil place recommended" and "Father-in-law recommended" schedules, and then there is "Factory Recommended". The most mustachian of the lot is what is printed in the owner's manual for your car.

Ford/Chev/Honda have no interest in selling you extra service. The dealerships do, but not the folks who print the manuals. What they are interested in is keeping your car running so you don't put in warranty claims. You can trust the manual to be the best service schedule for your car using the oils and lubricants designed for it at the time of manufacture.

Newer materials may mean you can squeeze a little extra out of an oil change, but for the pence you'll be saving, its pound foolish. Just follow what is in the owner's manual. Beware though, dealerships will often slip in their own "service manual" or "Maintenance schedule" as a booklet of coupons or a cheatsheet calendar. The one you want is printed in the owner's manual.

JLee

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Re: mustachian car maintenance schedule
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2016, 10:01:29 PM »
If you have the V6, your maintenance schedule should be basically identical to a 2001 Lexus ES300.  Lexus provides service intervals here: https://secure.drivers.lexus.com/lexusdrivers/info/my-lexus/service/maintenance-schedule.do

Quote from: 90k service
Factory Recommended 
Replace engine oil and oil filter
Rotate tires and adjust tire pressures as required
Replace air conditioner filter
Replace brake fluid
Replace engine air filter
Replace engine coolant
Replace timing belt
Re-torque drive shaft flange bolts
Road test vehicle
Inspect air conditioner filter
Inspect ball joints and dust covers
Inspect body
Inspect brake lines and hoses
Inspect brake linings/drums and brake pads/discs
Inspect differential oil
Inspect drive belt(s)
Inspect drive shaft boots
Inspect exhaust pipes and mounting
Inspect fuel lines and connections, fuel tank band and fuel tank vapor vent system hoses.
Inspect fuel tank cap gasket
Inspect rack and pinion steering assembly
Inspect steering linkage and boots
Inspect transmission fluid

Quote from: 95k service
Factory Recommended 
Replace engine oil and oil filter
Rotate tires and adjust tire pressures as required
Road test vehicle
Inspect air conditioner filter

Quote from: 100k service
Factory Recommended 
Replace engine oil and oil filter
Rotate tires and adjust tire pressures as required
Road test vehicle
Inspect air conditioner filter

Quote from: 105k service
Factory Recommended 
Replace engine oil and oil filter
Rotate tires and adjust tire pressures as required
Replace air conditioner filter
Re-torque drive shaft flange bolts
Road test vehicle
Inspect air conditioner filter
Inspect ball joints and dust covers
Inspect body
Inspect brake lines and hoses
Inspect brake linings/drums and brake pads/discs
Inspect differential oil
Inspect drive belt(s)
Inspect drive shaft boots
Inspect exhaust pipes and mounting
Inspect rack and pinion steering assembly
Inspect steering linkage and boots

Of course, but I am looking for the mustachian recommended, not the manufacturer recommended.

Do you not have your Owner's Manual maintenance schedule? That is what I follow and use a basic spreadsheet where I track all maintenance items with cost and date. I tried to copy it here but the table doesn't paste properly. The specifics will vary for your car make/model.

Oil & filter - every 6k miles or 6 months
Cabin air filter - every 2 yrs
Engine air filter - every 15k miles
Wipers - as needed ~5 yrs
Tire rotation - every 7.5k miles (check if needed)
Spark plugs - 105k miles
Automatic transmission fluid - every 30k miles or 2 yrs
Timing belt - every 7 yrs
Engine coolant - every 5 yrs
Brake fluid - every 3 yrs

I view some of the tenants of mustachianism as taking good care of things you own, so they last you a long time. Following factory recommended service intervals is an excellent way to do that.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2016, 10:03:38 PM by JLee »

Exflyboy

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Re: mustachian car maintenance schedule
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2016, 11:37:56 PM »
Look at SOME DIY stuff?

All stuff is DIY.. except tire changes and wheel alignments. Everything else is DIY possible.. even repainting the car if you wanted.

Just take time to learn the skills.

tj

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Re: mustachian car maintenance schedule
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2016, 12:04:33 AM »
I wouldn't be cutting corners on auto maintenance. I take my car in when the maintenance light comes on. I guess I'm okay with potentially paying a bit extra on this expenditure.

Le Poisson

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Re: mustachian car maintenance schedule
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2016, 05:37:05 AM »
Look at SOME DIY stuff?

All stuff is DIY.. except tire changes and wheel alignments. Everything else is DIY possible.. even repainting the car if you wanted.

Just take time to learn the skills.

Actually...

If you get a tire changer at Harbor Freight on sale for $35, its not that hard to do your own tire changes. Put about 6 oz of BBs inside the tire to balance them. I've done this on our cars and so far no issues.

So far I've done 18 tires this way (1 car and 1 minivan summer and winter, and a trailer) and all the tires are fine. I have one tire that loses balance at about 110 km/h, and need to add more BBs to it, but its a summer tire, so I'll fix it when I put those back on in the spring.

Considering that our mechanic charges $15 per tire to mount/balance, and I have $35 in tools and about $20 in BB's "invested", I think I've come out ahead.

Le Barbu

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Re: mustachian car maintenance schedule
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2016, 06:53:53 AM »
Look at SOME DIY stuff?

All stuff is DIY.. except tire changes and wheel alignments. Everything else is DIY possible.. even repainting the car if you wanted.

Just take time to learn the skills.

Actually...

If you get a tire changer at Harbor Freight on sale for $35, its not that hard to do your own tire changes. Put about 6 oz of BBs inside the tire to balance them. I've done this on our cars and so far no issues.

So far I've done 18 tires this way (1 car and 1 minivan summer and winter, and a trailer) and all the tires are fine. I have one tire that loses balance at about 110 km/h, and need to add more BBs to it, but its a summer tire, so I'll fix it when I put those back on in the spring.

Considering that our mechanic charges $15 per tire to mount/balance, and I have $35 in tools and about $20 in BB's "invested", I think I've come out ahead.

Interesting for changing the tires, but how do you get them balanced?

Le Poisson

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Re: mustachian car maintenance schedule
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2016, 07:21:51 AM »
Look at SOME DIY stuff?

All stuff is DIY.. except tire changes and wheel alignments. Everything else is DIY possible.. even repainting the car if you wanted.

Just take time to learn the skills.

Actually...

If you get a tire changer at Harbor Freight on sale for $35, its not that hard to do your own tire changes. Put about 6 oz of BBs inside the tire to balance them. I've done this on our cars and so far no issues.

So far I've done 18 tires this way (1 car and 1 minivan summer and winter, and a trailer) and all the tires are fine. I have one tire that loses balance at about 110 km/h, and need to add more BBs to it, but its a summer tire, so I'll fix it when I put those back on in the spring.

Considering that our mechanic charges $15 per tire to mount/balance, and I have $35 in tools and about $20 in BB's "invested", I think I've come out ahead.

Interesting for changing the tires, but how do you get them balanced?



Beads inside the tire. Its an old farmers trick I first heard about on a contractors forum. Guys there were using loose gravel, sand, or even antifreeze to balance. I thought it was bogus, so I did some research online and found that in Off-Roading, Motorcycle racing, and Trucking, commercial sellers are selling ceramic beads to do the same thing. (Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwBXvlIG7gI)

Being cheap, I did a little more research and found that a lot of folks are using airsoft beads to do the same thing. (Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6wDpZaAUcU) What matters is that you have heavy, loose matter in the tire that can find the low spot on the tire to balance it out. A bunch of online sites offer charts to help find the right weight. I bought a bottle of copperhead airgun BBs at Canadian Tire (http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/search-results.html?searchByTerm=true&q=copperhead) And gave it test run in my old (junk) summer tires. Worked great all summer, with the exception of the one tire mentioned above. Then when I changed out the tires on our popup camper, I thought what the heck, and put BBs in them as well.

So when I bought my winter tires online at a discount tire site that didn't include mounting/balancing, I did the same thing when I mounted them. No issues. Same with the Sienna.

Seems to work fine. When you stop you get a rattle - like the sound of a rain-stick as the BB's fall out of suspension around the tire. Often people look over like "what the heck was that!?!"

JLee

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Re: mustachian car maintenance schedule
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2016, 08:22:53 AM »
Look at SOME DIY stuff?

All stuff is DIY.. except tire changes and wheel alignments. Everything else is DIY possible.. even repainting the car if you wanted.

Just take time to learn the skills.

http://www.miata.net/garage/alignment/

;)

Exflyboy

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Re: mustachian car maintenance schedule
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2016, 10:21:48 AM »
Look at SOME DIY stuff?

All stuff is DIY.. except tire changes and wheel alignments. Everything else is DIY possible.. even repainting the car if you wanted.

Just take time to learn the skills.

http://www.miata.net/garage/alignment/

;)

Haha.. Yes I know you CAN do it.. Its just for $160 for "free" lifetime alignments at Firestone why would you bother?


Exflyboy

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Re: mustachian car maintenance schedule
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2016, 10:29:22 AM »
I wouldn't be cutting corners on auto maintenance. I take my car in when the maintenance light comes on. I guess I'm okay with potentially paying a bit extra on this expenditure.

Doing your own maintenance is not "cutting corners".. I have never taken my "car in" in anywhere and I have saved a fortune as a result.

Yes you are spending a lot more if you are paying mechanics and if your OK with that then thats fine, but us home DIY guys are doing just as good work as the $80/hour guys you are paying.

I.e we don't drive around with the CEL light on, we fault find the problem and resolve it.

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Re: mustachian car maintenance schedule
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2016, 10:31:38 AM »
I have a 2001 camry, with ~95,000 miles ( a car which I love, btw!).  Mustachian dream car.

I am trying to figure out how much preventative maintenance I really need on it.

I would follow the advice already given of using the owner's manual schedule of maintenance to guide  me. Keeping in mind that just because the vehicle isn't driven much doesn't mean it shouldn't have stuff like oil changed based on time vs. miles.

That said you can certainly use some common sense when deciding what to do.

My truck apparently has dust filters in the fucking seats!?!?! WTF?  My dealer tried to get me to change them for some stupid cost and I declined. I am okay with dusty seats. ;)

You can test suspension components and decide if they need attention.

Tires, brakes and other items like that can be inspected and measured to determine the need for service.

If I am faced with an item I can't evaluate easily I'll just go with what the owner's manual says. Especially if it's engine or transmission related.

Roots&Wings

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Re: mustachian car maintenance schedule
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2016, 10:42:01 AM »
Do you not have your Owner's Manual maintenance schedule? That is what I follow and use a basic spreadsheet where I track all maintenance items with cost and date. I tried to copy it here but the table doesn't paste properly. The specifics will vary for your car make/model.

Oil & filter - every 6k miles or 6 months
Cabin air filter - every 2 yrs
Engine air filter - every 15k miles
Wipers - as needed ~5 yrs
Tire rotation - every 7.5k miles (check if needed)
Spark plugs - 105k miles
Automatic transmission fluid - every 30k miles or 2 yrs
Timing belt - every 7 yrs
Engine coolant - every 5 yrs
Brake fluid - every 3 yrs

I agree with all of this except the timing belt and brake fluid change..

3 years is a bit excessive for brake fluid changes. more like 6 years.

The timing belt will have both and age limit and a milage limit.. Do a search online to figure out when the T belt needs to be changed.. They are normally between 60 and 100,000 miles.

I don't know if this is an interference engine or not (once again search online or better read the manual.

If it is a non interference and the belt breaks (which it WILL do eventually) the engine simply stops running and strands you somewhere.

It it is an interference motor it will smash your engine up basically.. Clearly need to change it it at the right interval. While your in there I would change the water pump and the cam and crank seals as you have stripped the motor down that far and if they leak after you put it back together you get to take it all apart again.

Thanks for the helpful feedback. You are absolutely right that timing belt has both age and miles limit in the owner's manual...it's just such a ridiculously high mileage number that I will never reach it before the age limit!

I will look into the brake fluid issue more though 3 years is what they have listed in the manual; I believe they also specify the type of brake fluid to use, which might be part of it. I'm learning to do more car maintenance myself and this will be on the list next time it's due.

Tester

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Re: mustachian car maintenance schedule
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2016, 12:51:03 PM »
I am just replying to say that I found maintenance intervals here very strange.

I had a 2000 VW Golf in Europe and the owners manual said oil change at one year or 10000 miles.
I bought it in 2014 when it had 140,000 miles on it.
The service told me that I have to change the oil at 7000 miles or one year.
When I asked them why and showed them the owners manual they said - yes, but that owner manual is for Germany, look at the owners manual for Romania.
And they were right, it was at 7000 miles for Romania.

But here (in the USA) I bought a (new, 2015 model) Ford Focus SE.
Why I went for a new car - used cars prices were strange for me so I said at least with a new car I can only do a mistake by paying a higher price, not by buying a broken car. As I do not understand how cars are maintained here I did not want to risk this. Just an example - same dealer, 2009 Toyota Prius at 7000 USD and 2007 Toyota Prius at 9000 USD. The cheaper one had regular service at the same shop, the other had a 80,000 miles period without any service record...
Both had "the same" mileage, "the same" equipment...

The dealer told me that the first oil change is at 3000 miles and then every 5000 miles (for the new Ford Focus)
I did not say anything about this but I was very curious how can that be.
It turns out that the manufacturer says oil change at 10000 miles or one year...
Driving in the city or things like that means oil change faster.
So I will do the first oil change at around 4000 miles and then at around 9000 miles (although I might have to do it quicker as I think one year will pass before getting to 9000 miles).

So there is definitely dealer maintenance schedule :).
What I don't really understand is why people do it.
While searching for a car I saw many cars with regular oil change every 3000 miles.
All types of cars.
And I was thinking - what driving conditions are there in the USA that you need an oil change at 3000 miles????
Does everyone race in their daily drive???

Just look in the manufacturer maintenance schedule and do it.
If you have special driving conditions - stop and go, very hot, very cold, too much dust, then adjust accordingly.
But even then, oil change every 3000 miles is over the top as far as I am concerned.
Especially as here if you commute to work you get to 3000 miles very quickly.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2016, 12:58:01 PM by Tester »

tj

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Re: mustachian car maintenance schedule
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2016, 01:26:47 PM »
I wouldn't be cutting corners on auto maintenance. I take my car in when the maintenance light comes on. I guess I'm okay with potentially paying a bit extra on this expenditure.

Doing your own maintenance is not "cutting corners".. I have never taken my "car in" in anywhere and I have saved a fortune as a result.

Yes you are spending a lot more if you are paying mechanics and if your OK with that then thats fine, but us home DIY guys are doing just as good work as the $80/hour guys you are paying.

I.e we don't drive around with the CEL light on, we fault find the problem and resolve it.

Case specifically said "Of course, but I am looking for the mustachian recommended, not the manufacturer recommended."

If you're not going by what the manufacturer recommends, that seems like cutting corners to me? You can certainly do the work yourself to save $$$, but to skip maintenance or delay it does not make sense to me..