Mileage-based Maintenance: How to Keep Your Car on the Road

As we’ve pointed out in prior posts, the new and used car market continues to see unprecedented rises in demand, therefore inflating the cost of used vehicle prices to over 50% of pre-pandemic levels.

We’re often asked by our customers what is the best thing they can do to maintain their vehicle?

So, to continue with our Monday Maintenance series, we’d like to introduce you to the most cost-effective repair plan: Mileage-Based Maintenance!

What is mileage-based maintenance? With continued use, everyone experiences natural wear and tear on their vehicle; specifically, in Minnesota’s extreme climate. Mileage-based maintenance services help to combat this natural progression to keep your vehicle operating efficiently and effectively - simply put, following a recommended maintenance schedule can not only save you money but can keep your car on the road longer.

What are mileage-based maintenance intervals and what do they include? Every vehicle contains an owner’s manual which outlines the specific, recommended maintenance schedule for each make and model. However, when your vehicle hits major milestones such as 5,000; 30,000; 60,000 miles, taking care of basics such as oil changes, fluid flushes and refills, and brake services can uncover small problems before they escalate into larger, more expensive repairs. Below is a list of regular items you should keep an eye on once your vehicle hits those major milestones.

Every 5k Miles
Perform an oil change using full-synthetic oil. See our previous post here.
Check fluid levels, inspect lights and tires
Inspect brakes

0-36,000 Miles
Replace air filters, fuel filters
Drain/flush and replace fluids: power steering, transmission, brake
Inspect and replace battery: due to our extreme temperatures, batteries have an average lifespan of 4 years.

36,000-60,000 Miles
Tires/alignment
Inspect and replace brake pads if necessary

60,000-100,000 Miles

At this point, most vehicles are no longer within the terms of their warranty. Pay closer attention to suspension components:
Front struts
Rear struts
Control Arms
Inspect Ignition system

100,000-150,000 Miles
Your vehicle has now reached an age where larger mileage-based repairs are necessary. At this interval, consider your vehicle's time clock reset if repairs are maintained and you can follow the schedule above.
Water pump replacement
Timing belt replacement
Spark plugs and wire replacement
Alternator

150,000+ Miles
Congratulations, if you’ve made it to this milestone without any major repairs you’ve successfully maintained your vehicle! Even with completing the required maintenance, there is still always the possibility that something could simply break from overuse. Items you might potentially repair at this time could include a head gasket replacement or transmission repair and assembly.

Worried about another car payment or potential for costly repairs? We recognize the cost of upkeep and repairs may seem overwhelming; and those on a tight budget may opt to neglect regular maintenance intervals as a quick money saver. However, the problem with this approach is that most of the issues that arise with your vehicle are preventative, come without warning if your vehicle is not regularly serviced and before you know it snowball into a multi-job, multi-thousand dollar repair.


At Lancer, we work directly with you to develop a maintenance plan that not only addresses the needs of your vehicle (current and future), but also works within your budget.

How do we do this? Having us perform all of your scheduled maintenance (including oil services), allows us to get a full, comprehensive picture of the vehicle every time it’s in our shop. This enables us to make recommendations, outline time intervals for upcoming maintenance needs and enables us to work with you to put together a Car-Care plan for some of the higher-ticket maintenance items that may be upcoming.

Having your oil serviced at a quick lube, but coming to us for everything else? DON’T! We’re extremely competitive in our oil service pricing for a reason - we want your oil service done here at Lancer, so we can perform our 42 point inspection. We use this time to determine (and document) any current and future needs. We keep all of this in your file, so we’re able to proactively plan the maintenance needs for your vehicle.

Bottom line, don’t wait for your car to tell you what it needs, being proactive will not only help you keep your odometer ticking well over the 100,000 mark soaring into 200 or even 300,000 miles – your bank account will appreciate it too!


Unsure what your vehicle needs? Call us today at 651.224.0267 and schedule an appointment for a vehicle inspection and we’ll provide you with a comprehensive Car-Care plan with any upcoming maintenance and service items needed.