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The worst thing about cars is that they break down.
Whether it’s a fender bender on the way to work, a falling tree during a windstorm, or just the wear and tear of years on the road, you and your car will end up in the shop at some point. Knowing how to maintain your car, when to head to a mechanic, and what to expect when you get there are essential skills for any car owner. 
Insurance may cover some repair and maintenance costs, particularly if your car is damaged by an act of God or if you’re in a no-fault accident, but others get folded into the total cost of car ownership. The average cost of car maintenance for new vehicles is about $100 a month—but that cost varies based on a number of factors, including:  
  • Your car’s make and model: Broadly speaking, more expensive cars carry higher maintenance costs, but the precise model, vehicle type, and age of your car all impact the cost to maintain it. No matter what car you drive,
    can help you reduce your ownership costs by finding you cheap car insurance.
  • Insurance coverage: In general, your car insurance only recovers repairs required by accidents or other unexpected damage—not expected wear and tear. But some companies allow a policy rider known as mechanical breakdown insurance, which can cover some regular maintenance costs. 
  • Where you live: Maintenance costs vary from state to state along with other cost-of-living metrics. So does the cost of car insurance
  • Ownership: Many car leases include complimentary maintenance, but if you own your car or are financing a vehicle, you may be on the hook for all the repair and maintenance costs. If you’re financing your car,
    can help you find
    auto refinance
    options to save money! 

Car maintenance and insurance: what you need to know

Your car insurance policy may cover certain types of repairs depending on the type of coverage you carry. 
  • If you’ve only got
    liability coverage
    , your policy covers repairs for other drivers if you’re at fault in an accident, but it won’t pay for damage to your car
  • Comprehensive coverage pays for damage caused by non-collision incidents such as severe weather, theft, vandalism, and acts of God
  • If you carry collision coverage, insurance will help to pay for damage caused by a collision with another car or a stationary object
  • Mechanical breakdown insurance covers the cost of some regular maintenance required by normal wear and tear
  • Towing and labor coverage won’t pay for maintenance, but it can get you a jumpstart or emergency oil or fuel delivery if you run into mechanical trouble on the road
Outside of these coverages, you can expect to be on the hook for the cost of maintaining your vehicle. In particular, repairs required by expected wear and tear or by an accident where you were at fault won’t typically be eligible for insurance coverage—so be prepared to shell out the money. 
In general, paying for the maintenance you need is a good idea, since it keeps you and other drivers safe and in compliance with the law. Failing to keep up with your car’s required maintenance could cause you to fail your mandated inspection, or even cause a serious accident. 
However, no car lives forever. If the cost to repair or maintain your car is greater than the car’s total value, it may be better to say goodbye to your old ride
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The bottom line

When it comes to car ownership,
is the maintenance genius you need in your pocket. From finding you the
insurance coverage
you need to pay for certain major repairs to showing you the ins and outs of basic routine maintenance, Jerry has you covered. 
Jerry won’t just connect you to expert advice—we’ll help you become your own expert. You can manage your car’s maintenance, customize your insurance coverage, and even
refinance your auto loan
, all with the help of the world’s only super app for car owners. 


Among the most essential routine car maintenance tasks are oil changes, tire rotations, brake inspections, and battery checks. 
The old advice was to get your oil changed every 3,000 miles or 3 months, but these days it’s only necessary every 5,000 to 7,000 miles for most cars. Check your owner’s manual for the exact interval recommended by the manufacturer. 
Your car has a lot of ways of telling you it needs help. The check engine light and other dashboard service indicators are one way to know when it’s time for a visit to the mechanic, but you should also get any unusual vibrations, noises, or smells checked out. Smoke, mysterious fluid underneath your car, and other visible changes are also good indicators that maintenance is required. 
Skipping routine maintenance can have a few effects. In the short term, it may not do anything—particularly for non-urgent problems. In the long run, however, foregoing necessary services can lead to severe damage to your car’s components, up to and including total engine failure. 

Car maintenance 101 with Jerry

Every car comes with its own manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedule, but the basics are the same for most vehicles. 
To help you save money on repairs and maintenance,
created a master schedule for basic car maintenance. We’ll break down the tasks you should be doing once or month (or every time you fill up the tank), along with bigger checks and services to schedule at or before the 30,000, 60,000, and 90,000 mile marks. 

Regular maintenance

You should be getting under the hood regularly to check certain crucial components. Perform these checks every two to four weeks and before any major road trips
  • Check engine oil and coolant levels
  • Test your headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and parking lights
  • Check tire pressure and tread depth
If your car runs on synthetic oil, like most modern vehicles, you can likely go between 5,000 and 7,000 miles before an oil change. Tires should be rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. Exactly when you’ll need those services depends on your vehicle, how you use it, and the environmental conditions in your area—so checking regularly can help you anticipate the best time to head to the shop!
While you’re taking care of your car,
can perform regular maintenance on your insurance policy. When you shop for
car insurance
with Jerry, the app will check periodically for lower rates so that you always know when a better deal pops up. 

Semi-yearly maintenance

Your car needs some services less frequently than a monthly basis, but more frequently than the 30-60-90 schedule most manufacturers recommend. Here’s what you should be doing for your car every three to six months to keep it in peak condition: 
  • Replace windshield wiper blades
  • Wax the car
  • Check battery power
  • Rotate tires
Experts also recommend shopping for car insurance every six months—but most people think of their insurance policy as something that’s set in stone. That couldn’t be further from the truth: in fact, reshopping for insurance regularly can help you save money and tailor your coverage to your car’s changing needs. Download the
app for instant expert help and a 45-second rate comparison process. 

Maintenance around 30,000 miles

Most cars require some standard maintenance around the 30,000 mile mark. Here’s what you should expect to do for your car at that milestone:
  • Replace the oil filter
  • Replace the engine air filter and cabin air filter
  • Check brake pads and rotors
  • Check coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and transfer case fluid
  • Check spark plugs
Some engine components, like brake pads, coolant, and spark plugs, may need to be replaced at this stage. 
If you’re feeling confident in your mechanical skills, you can do a lot of this maintenance on your own. But if you’re taking your car to a mechanic, use the time while you wait to shop for a new insurance policy with
. Start to finish, the comparison process takes under 45 seconds—and you could walk out of the garage with a new low rate on your insurance! 

Maintenance around 60,000 miles

For most vehicles, this is the stage when major mechanical components begin to wear out. Be prepared to put some money into your car around the 50,000 to 70,000 mile mark. You’ll probably need to: 
  • Replace the battery
  • Swap out brake pads and rotors
  • Replace tires if necessary
  • Flush transmission, radiator, differential, brake, and transfer case fluids
  • Check the serpentine belt 
  • Check the shocks and struts
As your car begins to age, maintenance and repair costs will start to climb. In addition, most new car warranties expire around three years or 36,000 miles—making this an ideal time to look into mechanical breakdown insurance to help you cover maintenance costs. 
That’s why the car owner’s super app
exists—to save drivers money on car-related expenses at the moment they need it! 
Download the app, enter your information, and you could have a new low rate on your insurance in minutes. On average, Jerry users save $887 on car insurance. 

Maintenance around 90,000 miles

Proper maintenance can keep your car functioning effectively well past 90,000 miles, but it’s important to continue regular checks and services. Here’s what to schedule at or before the 90,000 mile mark: 
  • Check or replace engine hoses
  • Check or replace power steering fluid
  • Replace spark plugs
If you financed your car with a 72-month loan, you’re due for an insurance refresh. Most lenders require drivers to carry full-coverage insurance to protect their investment, but once your loan term’s up you’re free to change your coverage to meet your needs. 
can help with that—in just 45 seconds, we can show you coverage options and rate offers drawn from 50+ top providers. 

Why you shouldn’t skip car maintenance

Car maintenance isn’t just the responsible thing to do—it could actually extend your car’s life! And though it may seem like an extra expense, performing regular checks and services can save you money in the long run by avoiding the serious damage, accidents, and related legal expenses that can come from driving a car in poor condition. 
Set yourself up for success by investing in a decent set of car tools and other maintenance supplies. To avoid the ambiguous warning of a check engine light, you can purchase an OBD-II scanner to read engine trouble codes that can tell you exactly what’s going on inside your vehicle. 
No matter what your maintenance schedule looks like, be sure to include regular insurance checks. Whether you’re looking for cheap truck insurance, a high-risk policy, or a low-mileage discount,
can help you find the unique coverage you need at the best rate available. 
Jerry’s committed to saving money for car owners—and doing it with as little hassle as possible. We won’t sell your information, we won’t ask you to fill out unnecessary paperwork, and we’ll never, ever call you (unless you ask us to!). 
With help from
, you can give your car a long, safe life while protecting your bank account and saving money for the things you care most about. 

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