Your car’s service intervals refer to the certain mileage intervals—15,000 miles, 30,000 miles, etc.—at which scheduled tune-up services are recommended. Keeping up with service intervals on your Ford F-150 can be inconvenient, but taking your car in for regular tune- up services at the appropriate time is also crucial to preserving the value and condition of your car whether it’s new, leased, or used.
How to Determine Your Car’s Service Intervals
It is very easy to determine when you should take your car in for a tune-up and which services you should request. A maintenance schedule should be spelled out in your car’s official manual—which you should have as a printed booklet, but can also access online if you’re unable to find your original printed copy.
Service intervals are not exactly the same among all car models. The only way to determine your car’s exact recommended maintenance schedule is to check its manual. However, service intervals are very similar among most modern car models that were released within the last ten years.
Most modern cars require an oil change approximately every 5,000 miles. However, some cars can go 10,000 miles without one, and others need an oil change after only 3,000 miles to continue running smoothly. You should also request a tire rotation when you take your car to get an oil change, as tire rotation is recommended every 5,000 miles for most cars.
You car will probably require more serious scheduled maintenance when it reaches approximately 15,000 miles. Its 15,000-mile maintenance should include a fluid level check and top-off and an air filter replacement in addition to an oil change and tire rotation. At 30,000 miles, take your car in to get the same services it needed at 15,000 miles—plus fuel filter, coolant fluid, and transmission fluid replacements. Another major service interval is 60,000 miles, at which point your car will probably require the same services it needed at 15,000 and 30,000 miles. At 60,000 miles, you should also get your car’s spark plugs, battery performance, transmission, hoses, belts, valves, and
brakes checked and replaced if needed.
Many drivers don’t keep the same car long enough for it to reach 90,000 miles. If your car does reach this milestone under your ownership, celebrate by taking it in for important scheduled maintenance. At 90,000 miles, you should get important parts and systems in your car—brakes, spark plugs, hoses, belts, valves, battery, transmission,
etc.—checked again. If these parts weren’t in need of replacement at 60,000 miles, they likely will be at 90,000.
Make sure to keep up with oil changes and tire rotations at approximately 5,000-mile intervals to maintain your car’s condition and keep it running smoothly in between major service intervals.
Why You Should Schedule Maintenance for Your Leased Car
Many drivers who lease cars think it’s unnecessary to take the car they lease in to the dealership or auto repair shop for scheduled maintenance. Drivers naturally tend to feel less responsibility for their leased car since they don’t own it and plan to trade it in after a few years or less.
Basic tune-up services that need to be performed on a somewhat frequent recurring basis—like oil changes and tire rotations—are covered under many lease agreements. Even if you have to pay for scheduled maintenance on your leased car yourself, falling behind on these services puts you in danger while driving and can rack up damage fees that you’ll be forced to pay when it’s time to turn your leased car back in to the dealership.
Keeping Track of Scheduled Maintenance for Your Used Car
Buying a used car makes keeping up with your car’s service intervals slightly more complicated. If you are a used Ford F-150 owner, make sure to keep track of your car’s mileage. Even though it’s new to you, a used car with a lot of miles previously logged on it might be in need of its 90,000-mile services as soon as you buy it.
Never buy a used car if the dealership or individual selling the car is unable to produce proof that the car has been serviced properly by its previous owner(s). Request official service records or receipts before finalizing your purchase to confirm that the car was taken to a dealership or auto repair shop for scheduled maintenance at the appropriate service intervals by whomever drove it before you.
Along the same lines, another reason why you should keep up with scheduled maintenance for your used car is to preserve its value. If you are unable to produce the appropriate service records or receipts for scheduled maintenance when you want to sell your car, its value will plummet. This reality is true for new cars as well as used cars.