Vehicle Manufacturers recommend extended service intervals to lower the cost of ownership calculations; they only need the vehicle to last for the warranty period. They don't really care about what happens after the warranty.
Dealers generally follow the manufacturer's recommendations, leaning to the severe service interval side of things but only in regards to engine oil. The remaining service items don't usually have a severe service recommendation and some are misleading or just too long
Below I am listing what I do to service my vehicles. Some of these might be considered overkill but they are what I like to think of as a "keep it' service; as in you are planning to keep it running for as long as possible, after the warranty period. These vehicles are used on the road and are not tracked or raced in any way. I do have some degree of mechanical sympathy, so I drive gently until the water temp at the very least is up to "normal". I also don't have to use a lot of brakes as all my vehicles seem to have somewhat strong drivetrain "braking"
These are the steps and items that currently work for me
Usually replaced with OEM or quality aftermarket units as suggested in the manual
Oil and oil filter
Both are changed anywhere between 5000 and 7000km. Whichever oil is the cheapest, that meets the manufacturers recommended spec (API, ACEA, etc) goes into the crankcase. Viscosity on the other hand I do not follow strictly. I'm not a fan of reduced viscosity for better fuel efficiency just yet so I don't select anything lower than sae 0w30. I also don't drive any hybrids, which might be my only reason for using a lower viscosity oil. At that point I'm not using anything lower than 0w20; 0w16 currently exists...
I use Purolator manufactured oil filters mainly.
Fuel and fuel filter
Use some form of fuel system cleaner/lubricant at least every oil change. On port injection gas vehicles I use aftermarket filters. On common rail diesel engines or direct injection gas engines I use OEM
Power steering fluid
The volume in the reservoir is pulled and replaced at least once every oil change. Forget using a turkey baster... Get a battery water tool.
It is much better suited to the job. Again use the fluid with the factory recommended specification. Whatever is cheapest that meets the spec is going in there.
Brakes and brake fluid
I use street brake pads and shoes from well known companies (mintex, bosch, ferodo). They are usually ceramic or organic which are a lot less aggressive on rotor wear than metallic or semi metallic pads. (Stay away from asbestos for health reasons). They usually have three good stops in them which is enough for street driving. This avoids having to replace rotors due to excessive wear; this doesn't really work for euro brakes though as they achieve their breaking performance by using more aggressive pads that wear rotors faster.
Brake fluid is replaced every time new pads are installed. Before pushing the piston/s back into the caliper the bleed screw is "opened" to allow the fluid to bleed out. This prevents most of the fluid in the caliper from returning to the master cylinder. The brakes are then bled after the new pads/shoes are installed. Essentially the fluid only goes one way in the system and the fluid is constantly being refreshed.
Currently drained and refilled once every 4th or fifth oil change or about 30000kms. Depending on the color of the fluid the vehicle is allowed to run for about 1000kms and the transmission drained and refilled a second time. I use the most affordable fluid that's specified. On a side note, most manufacturer fluids are an attempt by them to make more money. There are instances where the same transmission is used in different manufacturers vehicles and all have their own branded fluid as a recommendation. The only manufacturer that I still buy branded fluid for is Honda because they just do things differently. "Lifetime" transmission fluid is only meant to last through the warranty period of the vehicle. The transmission's longevity will suffer if lifetime fluid is not changed at regular intervals.
4wd diff and transfer case.
This depends on the volume of fluid in there. First change done at 40000kms and then 70000kms for every subsequent change. However anything with a capacity lower than 1litre is going to get changed earlier and monitored.
I use copper sparkplugs (regular ngk or denso for asian vehicles). They are affordable and work better than platinum or iridium plugs in my experience. They do however require more frequent changing which is there biggest drawback. (As much as I like copper plugs if I had a boxer engine I would use some long life platinum or iridium plug due to difficulty of access)
Rims and Tyres
The biggest tyre I can get away with on the smallest OEM/factory rim available to clear the brakes. The more rubber between rim and road generally means a more comfortable ride and less work for the suspension to do. This translates to less wear on suspension components. There is some trade off in steering response and cornering grip but given the condition of our roads I will take that trade off.
Simply draining and refilling to get rid of impurities in the system at 100000km. Advise to consider replacing the thermostat as well or closely monitor temp gauge as it gets up in mileage.
Doors and locks
Every so often use a dry lubricant film spray to keep door locks working properly. Also open doors and wind power windows down once in a while to ensure they are working.
A word on aftermarket parts.
Aftermarket doesn't mean cheap and there are decent products out there. Unfortunately there are a lot of cheap aftermarket parts being sold. There are also counterfeits which make servicing that much more challenging.
Some parts I don't mind using aftermarket, but there are definitely some parts that I believe are beneficial to get original. Selection is also swayed by how long a part has to remain in service or how difficult it is to access (on the vehicle or at the part shops). There are times when the original and the aftermarket are made by the same company. Everything should be assessed on its own merit.
Last edited by kamakazi
on July 28th, 2021, 10:42 am, edited 3 times in total.