How Often Should You Service Your Car? A Complete Guide

Do you take care of your car? If you don’t, it may be time to think about it. Your car is one of the most important and expensive things in your life and should be taken care of to keep it running optimally and last longer. How often should you service your car?

Well, the answer to this question involves so many variables, such as how often you drive, how old your car is, how long it’s been since the last time it was serviced, and more. Let’s find out how often to service car to save it from unexpected malfunctioning and repair.

What Happens If You Don’t Service Your Car?

As you know, cars need regular maintenance and upkeep to keep them running efficiently. But what happens if you neglect this step?

If you do not take care of your car, it will quickly become an expensive headache. Neglecting to change the oil, tires, filter, and fluid will result in decreased performance. Your fuel efficiency will decrease significantly and could lead to engine damage.

when to service your car
Missing servicing schedules can lead to engine damage. (Credit: Nenad Stojkovic / Flickr)

Irregular maintenance deteriorates various components over time and quickens the engine wear. Also, if you let your car go too long without an oil change, then the engine may cease and need to be replaced.

There are more than one thousand parts on a car and if any of these fail, it can lead to some major repairs. Regular maintenance helps prevent costly repairs later on, saving you money.

How Often Should You Service Your Car?

You should bring your car in for a checkup every 12,000 miles or once a year (whichever comes first). If you’re not sure how many miles are on your vehicle, check the owner’s manual to know when to service your car.

It’s important to know how often you should service your car to maintain a healthy engine and keep it running smoothly. Some modern cars come with a built-in reminder system that sends dashboard alerts when it’s time for an inspection or fluid refill.

If your car does not have this reminder system, you can follow the one-year or 12,000-mile rule. In the past, many servicing shops suggested an oil change every 3 months or 3000 miles. But modern lubricants are better and more advanced, so you can stretch the oil change interval up to 5,000 to 7,500 miles. For fully synthetic oil, the interval could easily be 15,000 miles.


Oil changing is the most common maintenance that people do for their cars, making sure they have fresh oil keeps the engine running cleaner and more efficiently with less wear and tear on vital components like pistons and valves.

You also want to inspect fluid levels such as brake fluid, coolant/antifreeze, power steering fluid, washer fluid (for outside of windshield) and make sure they are all at their optimal levels. Although the servicing center will check these fluids during the scheduled checkup session.


Keeping your car in top shape is the best way to ensure that it lasts for a long time and does not break down unexpectedly. How often should you service your car? Knowing this will help you make the right repair decisions and save your money down the road.