To simplify and clarify car maintenance questions, Let’s put the general requirements of today’s vehicle maintenance management into two categories:

  • Tune-Ups
  • Regular Vehicle Maintenance
Service Man

IMPORTANT: You must always refer to your manufacturer’s guidelines for your specific car or truck maintenance information.

Tune-Ups, Car Maintenance and Problems

Let’s start with tune-ups. Tune-ups are a thing of the past. As mentioned above, most of today’s vehicles are equipped with advanced technology, which has replaced many wearableparts.

While there are still many vehicles on the road with the above parts, they are fading fast.

Today’s tune-ups are incorporated into general automobile maintenance.In the past, they were often considered a separate auto maintenance service.

This is helpful. If you’re wondering when you need a tune-up, just follow your manufacturer’s maintenance interval. More importantly, find a auto repair shop that will actually follow your manufacturer’s maintenance interval.

What makes up today’s tune-up? Surprisingly, there are generally only four primary tune-up components, many of which have extended replacement time intervals or “auto extended maintenance.”

For example, some fuel filters last the life of the vehicle, others last 60,000-miles. Many platinum spark plugs easily last 100,000-miles.

This reduces primary tune-up components down to only two: Air Filters and Cabin Filters.

Air Filters: Some air filters can last 60,000 miles, a lthough most last between 15,000 to 30,000 miles.There are lifetime performance air filters, but these require maintenance.

Cabin filters: Cabin filters filter the incoming air of dust and debris, helping to keep your interior clean and dust and pollen free.They require replacement starting around 10,000 miles. Not every vehicle is equipped with cabin filters.

Broken Car

Following is a break-down of today’s most common tune up parts:


  1. Air Filters
  2. Fuel Filters
  3. Cabin Filters (also called dust filters, or HVAC filters)
  4. Spark Plugs

Car Maintenance Schedule

Let’s move on to Regular Vehicle Maintenance. Vehicle Maintenance Management procedures vary, depending on the year, make, and model.

Again, vehicle maintenance is separated from the Tune-Up section above for clarity, not because they’re separate.

Below is a general break-down to five vehicle maintenance services:

General Vehicle Maintenance

  1. Oil and Oil Filter Service
  2. Coolant/Antifreeze Flush
  3. Brake System Flush
  4. Transmission Fluid Service
  5. Differential/Gear Box/Transfer Case Services

If we add tire maintenance – rotation, balance, replacement, and alignments – that about covers the extent of vehicle maintenance services for today’s vehicles.

Then there are various maintenance inspections: brakes, front end, under-carriage, belts, hoses, and battery. Lastly, we can’t forget wiper blades and miscellaneous lubrication services.

There are two more maintenance services to keep in mind outside of manfacturer recommendations. The first is fuel system cleaning maintenance. Also called fuel injector cleaning auto maintenance. The second is pre road trip car maintenance….that’s it!

Important Note on Tire Rotation: many manufacturer maintenance sheet guidelines neglect the importance of tire rotations, which creates confusion.