40,000-MIle Service: What to Expect

The maintenance included in your car’s 40,000-mile service will depend on your manufacturer’s specific maintenance schedule.
Written by Cameron Thiessen
Reviewed by Jessa Claeys
When you take your car in for its 40,000-mile service, expect regular maintenance such as changing fluids and filters, plus a brake check, tire rotation, spark plug check, and general damage inspection.
When you get a new vehicle, the manufacturer will provide a recommended
car maintenance schedule
to keep it in ideal working condition. Most commonly, you should take your car in for biannual maintenance checks, usually at 5,000-mile service intervals. Keeping up with regular maintenance is a great way to avoid unwanted car repair expenses down the line.
If your vehicle is getting close to the 40,000-mile mark on its odometer, it’s probably about time to schedule a maintenance check. Let’s take a look at what sorts of things might need to be done during this visit to the mechanic, how to prepare, and how much it might cost.
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What is 40,000-mile service?

40,000-mile service simply refers to taking your car to an auto shop to be looked over at the 40,000-mile mark. There’s plenty of maintenance that should be done every 5,000 to 10,000 miles, most notably changing your oil. However, other maintenance items may be due after driving 40,000, depending on your vehicle’s condition.
While some new vehicle warranties will cover certain maintenance items, they may not cover everything. It’s a good idea to review your warranty information before scheduling your 40,000-mile service to make sure you know what is and isn’t covered.
You can find the recommended service schedule for your vehicle in your owner’s manual. Here are some things to expect from your vehicle’s 40,000-mile service. 

Engine oil and oil filter replacement

If your vehicle uses synthetic oil, you’ll need to have it changed at least every 7,500 to 10,000 miles. Conventional oil needs to be changed every 3,000 to 7,000 miles.
Pretty much any manufacturer’s service schedule will recommend an
oil and filter change
around the 40,000-mile mark. However, this is often something that won’t be covered under warranty. If you want to save money on your 40,000-mile service, you could do your own oil change beforehand.

Other fluid levels

There are plenty of other fluids that are imperative to keeping your car running how it should. The 40,000-mile service of your vehicle will often include a check of the brake fluid, engine coolant, and transmission fluid levels.

Spark plug inspection

Most spark plugs last up to 100,000 miles, but sometimes they can become damaged much sooner. This can cause problems for the engine if left unaddressed. While you may not need to replace your spark plugs, most manufacturers will recommend routine spark plug checks to ensure that no damage has occurred.

Wheel inspection and tire rotation

Tire rotation is recommended every 5,000 to 8,000 miles, meaning that you can expect this to be part of your 40,000-mile service. Tire rotation is simply changing the position of the tires to make sure that they wear evenly, extending the lifetime of the full set.
As part of your overall wheel inspection, it’s important to have ball joints and suspension components inspected, as well.
MORE: How to change ball joints

Brake inspection

Brake pads will need to be replaced every 20.000 to 60,000 miles. Your 40,000-mile service will usually include a brake system check. 
In fact, most people get their brakes checked at the same time as a tire rotation. It is very important to replace your brake pads when necessary to avoid excess damage to the rotors. Make sure to get your parking brake and brake lines checked, as well.

Replace wiper blades

Wiper blades usually need to be replaced once every six months, meaning this will be part of most regular maintenance services.

Cabin air filter replacement

Your cabin air filter usually needs to be replaced every 15,000 miles or so. This will often align with a 40,000-mile service.

Engine inspection

Most dealerships and service centers will do a routine engine inspection. This will include various components, including the engine air filter and the cooling system, plus the radiator and hoses.

Fuel system

Regular inspection of fuel lines and possible replacement of the fuel filter will likely be a part of many 40,000-mile service intervals.

Exhaust system inspection

Your exhaust system includes your muffler, catalytic converter, and exhaust pipe. While these things likely won’t need to be replaced, it’s still important to check them for leaks and make sure that they are functioning as they ought to.

Timing belt inspection

The timing belt on your vehicle won’t usually be ready for replacement at the 40,000-mile mark, but it’s still important to have it inspected in case it has endured any excess wear. Most timing belt maintenance intervals are 60,000 to 100,000 miles.

What is a good car maintenance schedule?

The best car maintenance schedule is the one laid out in your owner’s manual. In general, you should check your fluid levels and tire pressure every three months. Make sure to get oil and filter changes on time, too. This will usually be every 5,000 miles or every 10,000 miles, depending on what kind of oil you’re using.
Every oil change is a good time to have your tires rotated and check your fuel, cabin, and engine air filters. You should also check your battery for any signs of corrosion, and make sure that all of your lights are in working order.
Once per year, you should check your brakes and alignment, in addition to your other regular checks and changes.
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Depending on your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, your $40,000-mile service will cost anywhere from $200 to $1,000. Taking care of easier maintenance items on your own—like fluid level checks, oil checks, and even spark plug replacements—is a great way to save money. Still, it’s a good idea to make sure that an automotive professional does a thorough inspection of your vehicle once per year.
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