Auto Maintenance Then and Now

BYKaren Hewell
Over the years, plenty has changed about the cars we drive. Vehicles nowadays are more advanced mechanically. Although regular maintenance still is vital to keeping your car in top working order, some of the maintenance “rules” you have been following all your life have changed. AAA Auto experts share a few examples here. 
Oil Changes
The drivers of new or newer cars often overestimate just how often they should be getting an oil change. While older cars — from the ’70s to the early ’90s — called for oil changes every 3,000 miles, improvements in car manufacturing, as well as oil quality, means newer cars often can go for 5,000 to 8,000 miles before needing a change. 
Older cars used to require intensive tuneups to keep their engines working properly. This was because most cars didn’t have a check engine light or only had rudimentary diagnostic systems. Today, computer controlled systems within the engines have highly advanced sensors that automatically alert drivers to significant problems.
Replacing Spark Plugs
Automotive manufactures used to recommend changing most cars' spark plugs every 30,000 miles. With improvements to engines and also to spark plugs themselves, now most recommend a replacement every 70,000 to 80,000 miles.
Back in the day, vehicles often required alignments every two years to reduce wear and tear on tires. Today’s advanced suspension systems, higher-quality components, and overall better car design have virtually done away with the need for a regular alignment, but do have it checked if you’re noticing steering issues, like pulling or excessive tire wear.
KAREN HEWELL is a senior content marketing specialist and contributing writer for
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