Maintenance for Your Vehicle Every Three Months or 3,000 Miles
It’s about time for some routine check ups with your vehicle. We have compiled a list of nine things to check through every three months or 3,000 miles to make sure your car runs smooth and you have a safe ride.
Three Months or 3,000 Mile Maintenance Checklist
Automatic Transmission Fluid
Check fluid level with engine running and transmission in park. Automatic transmission fluid provides the hydraulic fluid used by automatic transmissions to function. By checking and maintaining this fluid, the transmission will stay lubricated and cool. If low, add the type of automatic transmission fluid specified in the owner's manual and/or on dipstick. For maximum performance, change every two years or 24,000 miles, or as directed in owner's manual.
Inspect for leaks, damage and broken supports or hangers if there is an unusual noise. Exhaust leaks can be dangerous and must be corrected without delay. A normal exhaust can last anywhere between two to three years, but it is best to stay on top of regular checks to avoid expensive problems.
Battery and Cables
Battery should be securely mounted. Battery connection should be clean, tight and corrosion free. If you notice corrosion on your battery, consider brushing the corrosion off with a wire brush after the battery has been disconnected. Never operate on a battery while it is connected. If the battery is three years old or more, it should be tested and replaced if necessary.
Engine Air Filter
Inspect filter at each oil change. Replace annually or when leaking, torn, water or oil soaked, dirty or showing other signs of wear. Other signs of wear include unusual engine sounds, service engine light, and reduced horsepower. To learn how to replace your air filter, check out this how to guide to get the job done right.
Inspect filter at each oil change. Fuel filters help refine the oil in your vehicle, and help with the absorbents in fuel that can contaminate your engine. Replace if restricted or water contaminated or once a year on cars with carburetors. On cars with fuel injection, replace filter every two years or 24,000 miles.
Power Steering Fluid
Power steering fluid assists the driver when turning the wheel. It is pressurized hydraulic fluid that protects o-rings and seals. Check the fluid with the car warmed up. Add correct type of fluid if low. If frequent topping off is required, inspect for leaks and replace if contaminated.
Check V-belts and serpentine belts for looseness and condition. Replace when cracked, frayed, glazed or showing signs of excessive wear. Replace timing belt per interval specified in owner's manual. Typically this is 60,000 to 90,000 miles. Not replacing the belt as required could cause a breakdown or serious engine damage.
Engine Oil And Filter
If nothing else, this is the step you should always check and maintain for basic car care. Check level with engine off at every fill up. For maximum engine life, change oil and filter every three months or 3,000 miles or as directed in your owner's manual. Use specified oil grade and weight. AutoZone offers trustworthy advice on oil filters and what you need to know about them. If you need to know how to change your oil, use our guide with easy steps to get you through your DIY project.
Inspect hoses at each oil change and replace when leaking, brittle, cracked, rusted, swollen or restricted.
Car Care Council’s Service Interval Schedule*
AutoZone is pleased to offer the Car Care Council’s Service Interval Schedule.
Right to Repair Act
Make sure you have access to the most affordable and convenient vehicle repair tools and information.For more information on the Right To Repair Act, visit Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association website.
*The Car Care Council has developed a service interval schedule to provide general guidelines for the regular maintenance of passenger cars, mini vans, pickups and SUVs. Intervals are built around an oil change every 3,000 miles, an accepted recommendation for the majority of motorists who are severe service drivers. Always consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific recommendations by the car maker.