The 30,000/90,000 mile service

I saw that the maintenance light on my car was coming on close to the 57,000 miles and I brought it to CarMax so they could check it, they said nothing was wrong, I think I need to make the oil change by 58,000. I have done it each 3,000 miles but a friend suggested is better to bring it to a certified dealer and hey would do it each 5,000 and its better for the vehicle.

On CarMax they also gave me a paper stating that soon I need to make a service for the 30,000/90,000 mile service price 400 and the description of the service is as follows:

Change oil and filter lubricate chassis fill all fluids to proper levels inspect and adjust driving belts service emission filters rotate & balance tires inspect exhaust components service wheel bearing replace spark plugs non platinum inspect service brake syst. Inspect steering linkage suspension components, fuel system emission control components, drive shaft boot/engine mount transmission linkage & seal replace engine coolant check & service transmission fluid and filter, check battery.

My question to you is: is this really needed, is it better to bring it to the dealer, I know in the past carmax would not be responsible for tire or battery, why are they mentioning them now? I rotate them regularly?I want to know if in the dealer I would have a better, more reliable deal.

Thanks for your help!


You can use a 5k miles oil change interval if much of your driving is on the highway. If you do a lot of short hop, stop and go driving then you should stick with 3k miles.

Yes, these inspections should be done on a regular basis and the purpose is to try to head off problems before they start. You do not have to have this done by a certified dealer. Any competent mechanic can perform these services.

You did not state the year of the vehicle but you need to stay on top of the timing belt issue, which is time dependent along with mileage. This would mean tensioners and a water pump also. It’s a bit pricy but that comes with the territory when you own a car with a belt driven camshaft.

Change oil and filter: needed. But only every 5,000 miles.

Lubricate chassis: not needed on modern cars…but brings back sweet memories.

Fill all fluids: you can do this very easily yourself. Use the proper fluids recommended in your owner’s manual.

Service emissions filters: needed, but you can do this yourself. Check your owner’s manual for the air filter location. Check the owner’s manual for the fuel filter recommendation. Change the cabin filter if you have one too, even though it’s not an “emissions” filter.

The “driving belts” are simply the serpentine (fan) belt(s). Check th eowners manual to see if they’re due. They probably are.

Rotate & balance tires. If they’re original they may be due for replacement anyway. Check the tread. Even if they’re not they shoudl not need rebalancing.

Inspect exhaust components. Can’t hurt, but your exhaust is stainless steel and should be fine.

Service wheel bearings: nope.

Replace spark plugs: yup, but use platinum tips.

Inspect/service brake system: Having the brakes checked at this mileage is prudent.

Inspect steering linkage suspension components: good idea, but should be done while the car is on the lift anyway. Not a big deal.

Fuel system emission control components: a fuel filter. See above. Other components will trip a CEL if they fault.

Drive shaft boot/engine mount tranny linkage etc. etc., all normal visual checks to be done while the car’s on the lift, very quick and simple.

Replace engine coolant: a good idea. A simple drain & refill.

Check & service tranny: see your owner’s manual. It may be due.

Check battery. Easy, simple, and a good idea.

$400: too high.

Dealer not needed or recommended. Take the car to a good, reputable oener-operated shop. They can do all of this and they’ll save you money.

the car is a 2005, thank you for your answer!

Thank you for your detailed and quick response. I think is a great idea, the owner operated shop.

You’re welcome.

The list is long, but it’s really all pretty simple and basic stuff.