What Happens at a 70,000-mile Service Inspection?

When you bring your car in for 70,000-mile service, the technician will check vehicle fluids and oil, rotate the tires, and inspect it for mechanical issues.
Written by Amber Reed
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
If your car’s odometer hits 70,000 miles, it’s time to bring it in for a routine inspection where a service technician will replace your air filters, change your oil, check your fluids, rotate your tires, inspect your brakes, and change your windshield wipers.
While most automakers recommend following the 30-60-90 rule for major inspections, it’s still a good idea to bring your car in for service every 10,000 miles or so. Staying on top of these minor service appointments can prevent damage to your car from things like old fluids or misaligned tires. It can also help you catch—and repair—minor mechanical issues before they turn into major
car repair
Not sure what to expect from your 70,000-mile appointment? In this helpful guide, we’ll give you a rundown of the six most important maintenance tasks your mechanic will perform. 
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What is a 70,000-mile service?

If you’re following the service schedule listed in your vehicle’s owner’s manual, there’s a good chance you’ll need to make a service appointment around 70,000 miles. At this appointment, a certified auto technician will do some basic maintenance on your car, take it for a road test, and inspect it for potential mechanical issues.
Because the 70,000-mile inspection is considered minor service, it’s usually less expensive than the major service intervals which occur at 30,000, 60,000, and 90,000 miles—but if you’re still looking to cut costs, ask your dealership if they have any service specials or coupons. Spoiler: they usually do! 
Here’s a list of basic maintenance checks that happen at a 70,000-mile service inspection.

Filter replacements

Your car’s cabin air filter helps clean the air that comes into your car through its radiator, cooling system, or fan vents. A dirty air filter can make your heating and air conditioning less efficient, as well as cause things like foul odors and excess noise while using your climate control.  
Your technician might do an engine air filter change to replace the pleated filter that prevents your engine from getting clogged with dirt and other contaminants that reduce performance. They may also look at your fuel filter, which allows gas to run smoothly through your car’s fuel line to your vehicle’s engine, and the exhaust system filter, which helps trap some harmful compounds from being released into the air from your exhaust pipe. 

Engine oil and oil filter replacement

All gasoline-powered cars use engine oil to reduce friction, lubricate moving components, and keep the engine cool and clean. Once your engine oil gets low, old, or dirty, it doesn’t perform as well and can lead to things like overheating and engine damage
Anytime you bring your car in for service, your technician will perform an oil change and oil filter replacement. Getting a fresh oil filter keeps the engine oil in better condition for longer since it prevents debris and engine carbon deposits from getting into the oil and contaminating it.

Fluid level inspection

There are several types of fluid in a car that help keep it running—and these fluids will eventually get low or dirty and need to be topped off. Here are seven types of fluid your mechanic will check during your 70,000-mile scheduled maintenance.
  • Transmission fluid: lubricates the moving parts of your car’s manual or automatic transmission system to reduce friction and make it easy to switch between gears.
  • Engine coolant: regulates your vehicle’s engine temperature so it doesn’t freeze in extreme cold or overheat in extreme heat. 
  • Brake fluid: increases braking force to ensure your vehicle slows down or comes to a stop when you push your brake pedal.
  • Differential oil
    : lubricates the clutches, gears, and bearings in the rear part of your car to allow your rear tires to spin smoothly.
  • Power-steering fluid: hydraulic fluid that gives power to your vehicle’s power-steering system.
  • Washer fluid: a combination of water and alcohol used to clean your front windshield with your windshield wipers after activating the washer button. 
  • Transfer case oil: lubricates and cools your car’s transfer case to preserve its gears and keep it running smoothly.
In most cases, your service technician will also check any hoses used to move these fluids around your car for bulges or leaks.
MORE: Antifreeze vs. coolant: what’s the difference?

Tire rotation

Most drivers need a
new set of tires
about once every six years. But to help prevent excess wear and tear on your tires, routine service appointments usually include a tire rotation. Your technician will remove each of your four tires and reattach them in different positions on the vehicle to improve traction and keep them from wearing down unevenly.

Brake lining, brake pads, and brake rotors inspection

Your vehicle’s brake lining, brake pads, and brake rotors help ensure there’s enough friction to stop your car when you hit your brake pedal. Your service technician can determine whether you need to replace these components before you experience signs of worn-out brakes, such as squealing, squeaking, clicking, or difficulty stopping your car.
Some dealerships will also inspect your parking brake, or e-brake, to make sure it’s working properly.
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Wiper blade inspection

While replacing a set of wiper blades isn’t difficult to do on your own, it’s usually more convenient to get it done during your routine service appointments. An old set of wipers can’t remove water from your windshield efficiently and might make it difficult to see while driving in the rain or snow. 

What is a good car maintenance schedule?

Most carmakers recommend getting major service inspections at 30,000, 60,000, and 90,000 miles. But keeping your car regularly maintained between these appointments is a great way to keep your vehicle running—and prevent surprise mechanical malfunctions and breakdowns
You can usually find a list of recommended service appointments inside your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Some automakers, like
, even have their service schedule
available online
. If you’re still not sure when you need to bring your car in for service, you can simply track your mileage and schedule an appointment about once every 10,000 miles.
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The exact cost for a 70,000-mile service depends on the type of car you drive, your dealership service center, and where you live—but in most cases, a 70,000-mile service appointment costs between $350 and $500. Keep in mind that if your mechanic finds issues with your car during the service appointment, those repairs could drive up the price.
Because 70,000-mile service is considered minor service, you can skip the appointment if you absolutely must. But if you suspect your car needs repairs or if you also skipped your previous service appointment, you should try and schedule an inspection as soon as possible.
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