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No car is built to last forever. That’s why regular maintenance is so important—but not all types of maintenance follow the same schedule.
There are two basic types of car maintenance: short-term check-ups and long-term maintenance. Some of your vehicle’s components need to be cleaned, adjusted, or replaced every month or so, while others won’t need your attention more than once every few years. And, of course, your car’s needs change with seasons: a few maintenance tasks come with a shift in temperature. 
If you feel like a fish out of water at an auto repair shop, it’s time to take control of your vehicle’s maintenance. With help from
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Ready to start? Let’s break down the main types of car maintenance you need to be aware of.

Short-term check-ups

You probably know that you need to change your oil every few months—but there’s more to keeping a car in peak condition than oil changes. 
Here are the parts of your car that need maintenance on a monthly or semi-yearly basis. It’s also a good idea to perform these checks before any major road trips. For the most precise estimate of when you need these services, follow your owner’s manual for the exact schedule recommended by your car’s manufacturer. 
Engine oil is the most important fluid in your car. It lubricates your engine’s components, allowing everything to move smoothly with minimal wear and tear, and it cools the engine down to prevent overheating and fires. But your oil gets dirty overtime, so change it out frequently to avoid sludge build-up.
What they do: Protect and cool the engine
How often to change it: 3,000 to 7,000 miles, or every six months
Average time: 20 to 45 minutes
Average cost: $20 to $75
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Long-term maintenance

While short-term checks and fixes can keep your car operating at maximum efficiency, some major vehicle parts will need to be replaced on a longer schedule. Expect to repair or replace these components every few years, based on the recommended schedule from your car’s manufacturer.
Coolant, also known as radiator fluid, doesn’t just keep your engine from overheating—it also prevents freezing and corrosion. But, like milk, engine coolant sours over time, becoming acidic and ineffective. Experts recommend a coolant flush every 30,000 miles after an initial flush at 60,000 miles. 
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