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15 Suggested Car Repairs by Car Mileage

Learn these suggested car repair mileage markers to lengthen your car's life.

Young-Hispanic-mechanic-draining-engine-oil-from-a-car-for-an-oil-change-at-an-auto-shopantoniodiaz/Shutterstock

How often should you change your car’s oil?

The frequency of oil changes varies, depending on who you ask but the longtime standard has been 3,000 miles or every three months. Some say that newer cars can go 5,000 miles between oil changes. Learn more about how often you should be changing your oil.

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How often should you rotate car tires?

Every 6,000 miles. A good way to think about this maintenance task is to do it every other oil change.

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How often do you need to change your car’s air filter?

You don’t have to worry about changing your car’s air filter as frequently as other car maintenance task. The recommended mileage to change a car air filter is every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. Change a car air filter more frequently than 30,000 miles if you live a dusty area. It’s important to change your car’s air filter because a dirty air filter can reduce gas mileage by up to 10 percent. And changing a car’s air filter is super simple, just like these other car repairs you can totally do yourself.

A fuel filter in a car. Gasoline can be seen in the filter. Closeup view.Doug McLean/Shutterstock

How often should you change your car’s fuel filter?

You might not think about your car’s fuel filter often but a dirty fuel filter can result in a rough-running engine. It’s recommended to change your fuel filter every 30,000 miles but you can always have your mechanic test your fuel filter to see if it needs changing.

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How often does a car battery need to be changed?

A car battery will typically last four to five years, which translates to about every 50,000 to 60,000 miles for the average driver, but it’s important to check your battery seasonally, especially if you live in a snowy winter climate because the last thing you want to deal with is a dead battery in a snowstorm. Learning how to change a car battery is super easy and learning proper car battery care can can extend your car battery’s life. Plus, check out these other maintenance tips that will extend the life of your car.

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When should you change your brake fluid?

Some carmakers recommend replacing brake fluid every two years or 24,000 miles. Others don’t mention brake fluid change at all. But it’s easy to test your brake fluid. Just dip a test strip into the fluid and compare the color to the chart on the packaging. Here’s exactly what to do when your car’s brake light comes on.

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Brake pad replacement mileage estimates

A car that’s used mostly for city driving will need new front brakes and rotors about every 40,000 miles. But cars that are driven mostly on highways can go almost 80,000 miles before the front brakes wear out.

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Brake rotor replacement

Your car’s brake rotors are typically suggested to be replaced every 60,000 miles, so right around the same time as your brake pads. Replacing brake rotors are slightly tougher than replacing brake pads but it can be done on your own and it can save you around $500. On the other hand, there are some car repairs you really shouldn’t be doing yourself.

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Transmission fluid change

Most shops recommend a transmission fluid change every 60,000 miles but manufacturer suggestions span from 30,000 to 100,000 miles. Either way, it’s an important maintenance task that can extend the life of your transmission. You can save up to $100 by doing a transmission fluid change yourself.

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When to replace car hoses

Hoses will tend to crack over time and if your car is more than six years old, it’s probably about time to take a look at replacing your car’s hoses. A six-year-old car will have around 80,000 miles on it for the average driver and that’s about the mileage to think about replacing your car’s hoses.

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Power steering fluid change

There aren’t any test strips to determine when to change power steering fluid, so you’ll have to rely on the manufacturer’s service recommendations or general rule-of-thumb (two years or 24,000 miles). Find out how you can save $55 by doing a power steering fluid change yourself.

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Spark plugs

A common question for many vehicle owners is “When should I change my spark plugs?” So how often should spark plugs be replaced? Well, not all spark plugs are rated for 100,000 miles. In fact, some carmakers recommend replacement at 30,000-mile intervals. So always follow the spark plug service intervals shown in your owner’s manual to figure out when to replace spark plugs. But if you can’t remember when you last changed your spark plugs, you can pull them and check the gap and their condition. Once you’ve put in the labor to begin checking spark plugs, however, you may as well change them and establish a new baseline for the future.

Repair kit: Timing belt with rollers, Tensioner pulley, Deflection pulley, Two rollers, Water pump and bolts isolated on white background. Automobile spare partSharomka/Shutterstock

Timing belt replacement

Timing belt replacement mileages vary but it used to be every 60,000 miles. These days some manufacturers recommend replacing a timing belt every 100,000. It’s best to check the manufacturer’s guide to determine when you should replace your timing belt. All car owners need to know these warning signs your car is about to die.

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Shocks and struts

About every 80,000 miles a car’s shocks and struts will wear out and need replacing. You can save around $300 by replacing struts on your own.

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Water pump

Water pumps will typically last between 60,000 and 100,000 miles but mechanics often replace them earlier because if they fail, they create major problems. People typically service their water pump at the same time as their timing belt. These repairs are all important, but find out some things you should never do to your car.

Originally Published on The Family Handyman