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What to Expect at Your 15,000-Mile Maintenance

AutoTECH AutomotiveVehicle maintenance requirements can vary greatly depending on type, the way the vehicle is used, and what the manufacturer requires. The manual that came with your car will give you a rough schedule of what needs to be done and when, and it is usually generalized for the whole country. You dealer may suggest other services that are more specifically attuned for your specific area, be it dusty, particularly hot, home to lots of stop-and-go driving, or with environmental conditions that create rust and corrosion.

As mentioned, it depends what you’re driving and how you’re driving your vehicle, but a 15,000-mile maintenance package will generally include an oil and filter change, tire rotation, and inspection of virtually all the moving components of the vehicle. This may include brakes, exhaust system, tires, battery and charging systems, cooling system, and many other components. Your technician might also recommend greasing the hinges, changing the cabin air filter, engine air filter, fuel filter, and other components. These services can be discussed, but be sure to preserve your factory warranty by, at the minimum, following your owner’s manual guidelines for critical services, such as lubrication, fluid changes, and inspections. Your dealer may recommend supplementing these with additional services as well.

Lubrication and engineering feats have, across the industry, increased recommended drain intervals for motor oil, differential fluids, brake fluids, and transmission fluids, which is great for most drivers. Fewer trips to the shop means saved time and money. One of the important aspects of the 15,000-mile service is that it gets you in to see a professional, and you’re likely due for an oil change anyway. The super-long maintenance intervals that are sometimes recommended by owners’ manuals, or are included in maintenance packages provided by manufacturers, can make drivers forget that their car does in fact require regular oversight. There are so many complex systems and so many variables in the type of use (environmental, what fuels you use, how the vehicle is driven, how many miles, etc.) that to not have your car carefully looked over at least annually could become a penny-wise and pound-foolish approach to maintenance.

Also, steer clear of the neighborhood quick-lube type places, which may use “universal” fluids, cheap filters, and less-than-stellar technicians. While these shops do serve a specific market and provide a valuable service to many, you and your car will benefit by having qualified technicians who are trained specifically on your make and model perform the routine maintenance with factory-approved parts and a keen eye for inspecting your vehicle.

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