Owning a car involves a lot of responsibility and that can amount to some expense. Car owners should plan for things like maintenance and repairs but many times wait until it’s a desperate situation to get it done.
The average car maintenance cost amounts to around .09 cents per mile. It takes between $100 to $180 per maintenance service as a car full service cost. Whats included? The typical 30,000-mile service includes replacing the oil and oil filters, rotating tires, checking and fixing all fluid levels, replacing the cabin air filter, and replacing the engine air filter.
Other scheduled services at 50,000 and 100,000 miles will include other things. Read on to find out more about ongoing car maintenance costs and what’s included.
The cost of regular car maintenance depends on how much you drive it. Figuring on the .09 cents a mile, you will spend around $900 if you drive 10,000 miles a year. The number jumps if you drive more.
As your car ages, the cost of maintaining it on schedule will escalate. That’s because parts began to wear out and more will need replacing. You may need to change to oil that is designed for high mileage cars. A 100,000-mile service ranges between $224 to $323.
A good bit of that is labor, which will cost between $96 and $123. The remaining money will be spent on parts.
What Does Full Service Mean?
Full service means all the basic things of your car are checked to make sure it operates well and has good performance. That includes an oil change, fluids, air and fuel filters, checking and rotating tires among other things like emission and sensors.
Mechanics will also provide a multipoint inspection during a full-service maintenance check. That is part of the inspection.
A full-service inspection will take about three hours and it should result in additional expenses should the mechanic find something wrong with the vehicle. Things that require replacement according to the maintenance schedule, like spark plugs or fuel filters, are included in the original cost.
This is particularly true if you go to a dealer or if the car is under warranty.
However, they may not be included in routine maintenance depending on your car, your warranty, and the garage. Some put certain things as extras or as a major tuneup and that will mean an additional charge.
Some of these things, like oil and filter changes and tire rotation, should be done on your own in between the scheduled maintenance. Oil and filter changes should be done every 5,000 to 7,000 miles and tire rotation should be done every 3,000 to 7,000 miles.
These things can cost between $20 and $100. Keeping up with them will mean less expense during the maintenance checks because there will be fewer problems to address and overall less expense in repairs over the life of your car.
Read: Car Diagnosis Cost
Getting New Parts
A mechanic may recommend replacing parts after a full car inspection. This is advisement and you aren’t obligated to do it then but your mechanic will explain how long your current part is expected to last and what it will cost should you have a breakdown.
Some estimated planned costs of car ownership include new tires, replacing the wiper blades, engine air filter replacement, brake pad replacement, and a battery. Tires can cost between $50 and $300 each while wiper blades cost only $7 to $15 each.
Air filters can cost between $20 and $25 while brake pads can cost between $100 and $350, depending on the make and model of your car. A battery can cost between $60 and $100.
These are all things you should keep up with on your own outside of inspections and replace them as needed. Most of these parts have either mileage or dated warranties that will indicate when they should be replaced.
Your car will give you signs if something goes wrong before you plan to replace things. Your dashboard lights, trouble cranking, and rough idling are some signals that you may need some of these basic parts replaced.
Read: What Does The Service Engine Soon Light In My Car Mean?
The Value of Regular Full-Service Maintenance
There are benefits of a full-service inspection even though you keep up with the basic needs of your car. One of the primary benefits is for your mechanic to catch something that may be going wrong before it becomes a major repair.
This gives you a heads up to get it fixed early and save money.
The overall benefit is regular full service maintenance saves you money in expensive repairs later. A mechanic that checks fluid levels, battery, oil, filters, emissions, tires, and other major components and makes sure all are fresh and up to the right levels will reduce the risk of your car breaking down.
It will also improve your car’s performance.
Read: How Long Can a Car Battery Sit Unused?
How often do I need to get a full inspection?
That depends on your car, how much you drive and the weather you drive in. Your car owner’s manual will have recommended mileage for full inspections. Typically, full inspections start at the 12,000-mile mark with shorter, interim inspections before that. Look for major inspections at 30,000, 50,000 and 100,000 miles.
Are full inspections that important?
Yes, a full-car inspection is important not only to keep your vehicle running well but to make sure it’s safe. An inspection can catch things like a worn-out tire or a brake pad that needs replacing. Those things can be dangerous if not corrected.
Full inspections also help you maintain the value of your car, which will mean more money for you when you sell it.
What cars cost the most to maintain?
Luxury vehicles tend to rank the highest with BMWs being the car with the highest maintenance cost. Numbers show it cost around $17,800 to maintain a BMW over 10 years. Some economy cars, like Saturns, also ranked pretty high. They cost $12,400 over 10 years.
What does regular car service include?
This is the service you get about every six months or 5,000 miles. This includes oil and filter changes. The oil typically needs to be changed every 5,000 to 7,000 miles but you will know it’s old and needs changing right away if it’s black on the dipstick.
How long should regular car service take?
A typical oil change and regular service should take about an hour.
What does major service mean?
This is another word for a tune-up. It includes all that is in a full service but also includes replacing spark plugs, changing fuel filters, and replacing other worn items according to the manufacturer’s recommendations like belts and hoses. It doesn’t include repairs.
How long do car batteries last?
The average car battery will have a lifespan of two to five years. That depends on the brand and the climate you live in. Those in colder climates will find their batteries last longer.
Read: Can You Put a Different Size Battery In Your Car?
When should you have a major service done?
Most recommendations are to have a major service either every 24 months or every 24,000 miles.
Do I need to keep my service records?
Yes, you should keep every service record for your car. First, they are helpful if you ever need to change mechanics. Second, your mechanic may need them to figure out what a problem could be should one arise. Third, they are valuable in keeping up your price when you sell or trade your car.