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Scheduled Maintenance

Contributed By: Dennis "Doc" Fariello

Some of you on the mailing list have expressed questions about scheduled maintenance. I'd have to say that the best place to start is to use your owner's manual, if you are fortunate enough to have one for your vehicle. I am fortunate in that I've had my truck since new, so I not only have the manual, but 12 years and 200,000 miles of experience with this particular truck. Allow me to explain where I came up with this particular schedule. I did indeed use the manual as a guide, but also, over the years, I've learned that some things need to be taken care of more often, and some not as often. I have some experience with fleet operations, as well, and Florida is a severe operating environment, so these things were taken into consideration as well. These items would probably work fine under most conditions for probably any electronic-ignition equipped vehicle. The ignition and tune-up intervals would of course be sooner on older vehicles. Also, some items wouldn't be applicable to all vehicles, and there are even some items not included on this schedule that would need to be taken care of on other, especially older, trucks. But this is Timex's schedule as it is, so take it as a guide, if you like.

Every 1 month Clean all exterior glass and apply Rain-X. Inspect glass for cracks, etc. (1)
  6 months Lube doors, tailgate, hood latch and hinges, etc. Apply silicone spray to weatherstripping.
  12 Lube door locks with powdered graphite
  24 Drain coolant, flush, and refill with 50/50 mixture of antifreeze / water
3000 miles *Change engine oil & filter. (2)
      Rotate / balance tires (3)
      Inspect brakes, service as required.
5000 *Check power steering fluid
      *Check differential levels
      *Check manual transmission oil level
      *Check transfer case oil level
      Check belts / adjust /replace as necessary
10,000 *Lube drive shaft splines
      Check ignition timing
      Check idle speeds
      Check idle mixture
15,000 *Chassis lube
      *Lube drive shaft u-joints
      Replace fuel filter
      Replace PCV valve
      Check / clean spark plugs (4)
      Clean EGR valve port
      Check front end alignment
      *Change differential oil, both diffs.
30,000 *Change manual transmission oil
      *Change transfer case fluid
      Change spark plug wires
      *Clean / repack front wheel bearings
50,000 *Clean air filter element (5)
      *Clean drive line vent breather filters (5)
NOTES:
  1. This may seem silly to y'all, but it's what I do. I live in a tropical environment, with EXTREMELY heavy summer rains, so this is what I do.
  2. Severe service recommendation. You may not need to do it this often, say every 6 months / 6,000 miles.
  3. Adjust per your needs. Solid front axle vehicles do indeed tend to cup the front tires, so you really don't want to neglect this. I've had some tires I've needed to rotate every 1500 miles!
  4. Ok, I use Bosch Platinum plugs. So, I just use this as a reminder to pull them and re-install them so they don't rust into the heads. I've gotten between 130,000 and 300,000 miles out of these plugs in other vehicles (yes, FORDS). Timex's present plugs have about 80,000 miles on them.
  5. I typically service wheel bearings when doing front brake jobs (my front brakes typically last about 70,000 miles... wish the rear brakes would last that long).
Items marked with a * are those items which need attention after playing in mud or deep water.

Dennis M. "Doc" Fariello
fariello@evcom.net
http://www.evcom.net/~fariello
Borelando, FL
16 February 1997

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