How often should I service my low-milage car?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Aug 01, 1990

Dear Tom and Ray:

No doubt you've heard of the little old lady. I'm the little old man who drives his car only to church on Sundays--and sometimes to the shopping mall or my place in the country. I just bought myself a new Toyota Tercel. The factory booklet advises some sort of service every 3 months or 3,000 miles. For me, 3 months would mean servicing the car every 1000 miles. This sounds like too much service to me. But then again, maybe I was spoiled by my old car, a used '72 Pinto, which ran trouble free for ten years with just a couple of oil changes a year. How can I do as well with my Tercel?

RAY: Our advice would be to pay attention to the mileage requirements for service rather than the time intervals, Paul. Except that you ought to take the car in for an oil and filter change at least once every six months, no matter how few miles you put on it.

TOM: On the other hand, if you kept a '72 Pinto running trouble-free for ten years, you sure don't need any advice from us. Just keep doing whatever you've been doing.

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