I’m really confused about auto service intervals for various items on my car. Help!
Express Car Care Answer: The simple answer for Denver drivers is to follow the vehicle’s recommended service intervals listed in your owner’s manual or in your service center’s database. But the team at Express Car Care sympathizes with you because of the confusing intervals for modern vehicles.
The days of simple rules of thumb that applied to most vehicles are long gone. For example, let’s look at an oil change: manufacturers’ recommendations run anywhere from every 3,000 miles to 15,000 miles. This big range comes from engine design and recommended types of oil – so drivers really do need to know and follow the recommendations for their specific vehicle.
Your owner’s service manual will have a schedule for both maintenance services and inspections.
Service items include: Tire rotation, wheel balancing, oil change, coolant service, transmission service, brake system, power steering system, fuel system, differential service, and transfer case service.
Inspections will include: Alignment check, air conditioning, brakes, suspension, axles, exhaust, tires, lights, emissions, belts and hoses, and steering.
It’s important to remember there is NO exception that would make it OK to extend an interval. These intervals already assume the “best case” conditions for a safe margin of error. However, you may live or drive in conditions that are harsher than average. Your owner’s manual may have a modified schedule for “severe service” – things like extreme temperatures, towing, hauling heavy loads, short trips, or stop-and-go traffic.
Consult your owner’s manual or with your service adviser about your driving situation and adjust your service intervals accordingly.