15,000 Mile Car Maintenance Schedule

With Explanations below

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Maintenance Item Recommended

Inspect or


I or R
& Date

Brand Used
Warranty Period
Example-Battery R R 11/5/02 AC Delco 5 Years
Air FIlter R      
Engine Oil R      
Power Steering Fluid I      
Tires * I      
Transmission Fluid I      
Wiper Blades I      
Washer Fluid I      
Exterior Care I      
Light Bulbs I      
Exterior Car I      


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* Tires should be rotated and balanced
every 15,000 miles.


by:______________________ Cost:$___________________



(items noted during
vehicle inspection, repairs needed, etc.)

Use the following matrix to plan regular maintenance of your
car. This schedule is an excellent source of information for:

  • Performing maintenance items yourself where possible
    and suitable
  • Verifying that your mechanic’s recommendations are appropriate
  • Planning your budget to accommodate necessary future
  • Understand what repairs are being recommended and why
  • Provide an easy to read and understand guide for the
    lay person
  • Established a work history log for your vehicle

This schedule is appropriate for most American, European and
Japanese automobiles. As always, consult your owner’s manual
for specific items related to your make and model. Information
and instructions in your owner’s manual supersede this schedule,
which means that if your manual recommends replacing the timing
belt at 50,000 miles, do not wait until the 60,000 mark as
shown in this matrix.

This guide is meant to supplement the manufacturer recommendations
for your specific vehicle, and should not replace such recommendations.

Wherever possible we have given recommendations of aftermarket
products that we have found to be reliable and in our opinion,
of good quality. These recommendations were added to inform
the vehicle operator of products that may or may not be suitable
for their specific vehicle. We recommend these products strictly
as helpful insight.

This guide may be reprinted in its entirety, as long as all
resources and links are in place. Brought to you by www.trustmymechanic.com
the honest mechanic working for YOU!

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Explanations of Recommendations

Air filter – Replace the air filter
about every 15,000 miles for normal driving conditions. A
dirty air filter will not cause the engine to run bad, stall,
or misfire. A dirty filter can cause reduced fuel economy
and higher exhaust emission gases. Fram filters offers air,
fuel, oil, pcv and interior cabin filters for most cars and
trucks. We have been using Fram filters in my shop for years
and they are probably one of the most recognizable aftermarket
filter brands on the market.

Engine Oil

Inspect: Check oil level when
engine is cold and with vehicle on level ground.

Replace: Change oil and filter.
Check all fluids, tires and air pressure, air filter, belts
and hoses and spare tire condition when changing the engine
oil. This is also a great time to clean the corrosion from
the battery cables. I have been using Amalie motor oil for
many years at my shop. It is a great product at a great price.

Power Steering Fluid

Inspect: Check level. Power steering
fluid can either be pink or clear in color, usually only a
very small amount is needed to top off fluid level. If more
than 2 oz. is needed, have the system checked for leaks or

Replace: Power steering fluid
just like any other fluid becomes dirty and contaminated and
should be replaced with clean fluid periodically. Dirty power
steering fluid can cause the power steering pump or the power
steering gear assemblies to fail and can cause premature wear
to occur. For great power steering fluid additives and conditioners


Inspect: Check pressure and tread
wear. Check air pressure cold unless otherwise described in
the owner’s manual. Inspect tires for uneven tread wear, punctures,
bulges, or cuts in sidewall of the tire.

Tire Rack.com
has brand name tires, custom wheels, brake
and suspension parts at the best prices we have seen. They
offer a great warranty and drop shipment capability to your
local repair shop is available. Don’t know what size tire
your car should have? The
Tire Rack.com
has a very powerful and helpful online catalog
to help you make the best replacement choice for tires and
custom wheels. We highly recommend The Tire Rack!

Transmission Fluid

Inspect: Usually the transmission
fluid level is checked with the engine hot and in park, and
with engine running. Check your owner’s manual for proper
fluid type and proper fluid level inspection procedures. Automatic
transmission fluid is usually pink in color. Most standard
shift transmissions will have a drain plug to service the
fluid. Some stick shift transmissions use engine oil as a
lubricant; consult your owner’s manual when servicing. It
could also be a good idea to have the replacement fluid type
information available for the repair shop.

Replace: Consult vehicle owner
manual for proper fluid type and service interval. If applicable,
replace the internal automatic transmission filter or clean
the re-usable screen when changing the transmission fluid.
A transmission pan gasket will also be required during a filter
change. Some newer model vehicles require special additives

Windshield Wiper Blades

Inspect: Check wiper blades for
wear and washer fluid level during a regular oil and filter
change. Don’t make the mistake of never thinking about replacing
or inspecting the wiper blades until you really need them.

Replace: Some wiper blades are
different lengths for driver and passenger side. Measure old
blades before replacing with new ones. Manufactures like
offer many different premium replacement wiper blade types
(i.e. for snow and ice, off road, and severe duty).

Windshield Washer Fluid Check level. Anti-freezing
and water repelling additives can also be added to the washer
fluid reservoir. Not only will washer fluid aid in removing
dirt from the windshield, but also it will act as a lubricant
to prolong the life of the wiper blade. Adding rubbing alcohol
to the washer fluid can be harmful to the rubber on the wiper

Exterior Care Regular car washes can remove
air borne chemicals through “acid rain” that get deposited
onto the paint surface, and dull the layer of “clear coating” that is meant to protect the paint and help promote shine
and luster. Car wash soap should be used and not dish or household
soaps, as their chemical makeup can damage the clear coat.

Semi-annual waxing of the exterior paint surface will help
to protect this important clear coat.

Lights and Bulbs – Save yourself the
hassle of failing a vehicle inspection or being pulled over
by the police for a tail or brake light bulb out. Have all
lights checked when performing a regular engine oil change.

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About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."