Mercedes-Benz Used Car Maintenance

person fixing a car​​​​​​​Congratulations on your used car purchase. While your vehicle may have a few miles under its belt, taking the appropriate steps from the start can significantly contribute to its longevity, reliability, and safety. Implementing a strict regimen immediately, addressing all fluids, filters, belts, tires, and other components, is essential for optimal performance. Our team at Mercedes-Benz of Temecula has created this guide to walk you through the necessary steps to ensure your vehicle stays in mint condition for as long as possible.

Maintenance Items

There are a few maintenance items that you should prioritize after purchasing a used car.

Fluid Changes

One of the first things you should do after buying a used car is to change all fluids. Even if the previous owner claims to have recently changed these fluids, starting with a clean slate and using high-quality products that your vehicle manufacturer recommends is advisable. Here's a list of fluids that you should check and change if necessary:

  • Engine oil:

    You should change this every 5,000 to 7,500 miles, depending on the type of oil you use.
  • Transmission fluid:

    The general recommendation is to change it every 30,000 to 60,000 miles if you drive a car with a manual transmission and 60,000 to 100,000 miles if it has an automatic version.
  • Coolant:

    This requires flushing and replacing every 30,000 to 50,000 miles.
  • Brake fluid:

    Most manufacturers recommend doing this every 20,000 to 45,000 miles.
  • Power steering fluid:

    You should check and top this off as needed.
  • Differential fluid:

    On average, you should change this every 30,000 to 50,000 miles.
  • Transfer case fluid (if applicable):

    This generally requires changing every 30,000 to 50,000 miles.

Filter Replacements

Another essential maintenance step is to check and replace all filters, including the following:

  • Air filter:

    The recommendation is to replace this every 15,000 to 30,000 miles.
  • Cabin air filter:

    This component requires replacing every 15,000 to 30,000 miles.
  • Fuel filter (if applicable):

    You should change this every 30,000 to 40,000 miles.
  • Oil filter:

    Most manufacturers recommend replacing this with every oil change.

Belt Inspections

Belts are essential to a car's engine, so check them regularly for wear and tear. This includes the following components:

  • Serpentine belt:

    You should check this every 60,000 to 120,000 miles and replace it if there are any signs of wear.
  • Timing belt:

    The general recommendation is to check this every 60,000 miles and replace it if necessary — some vehicles have timing chains that don't require regular replacement.

Tire Maintenance

Tires are another vital component requiring regular maintenance. Here are a few things to check for:

  • Tire pressure:

    Make sure you inflate your tires to the recommended psi.
  • Tread depth:

    Check that the tread on your tires is at least 2/32 of an inch. If it's any lower, it's time to replace them.
  • Rotation:

    Tires require rotating every 5,000 to 7,500 miles to ensure even wear.
  • Alignment:

    If you notice your vehicle pulling to one side while driving, it may be time for an alignment.
  • Balance:

    Rebalancing the tires every 6,000 miles ensures even weight distribution.

Ignition Component Checks

The ignition system is vital for starting your vehicle and maintaining smooth operation. Regular checks and replacements are essential for the following components:

  • Spark plugs:

    The general recommendation is to replace these every 30,000 to 100,000 miles, contingent on the spark plug type and manufacturer guidelines.
  • Ignition coils:

    You should have these checked and replaced every 100,000 miles.
  • Spark plug wires:

    Check these regularly for any signs of wear or damage and replace them if necessary.

Battery Maintenance

The battery is a critical component of a vehicle's electrical system. It provides the necessary power to start the engine and run electronic devices when it is off. Regular maintenance can extend the life of your battery and prevent unexpected breakdowns. Here are some key elements to check:

  • Battery terminals:

    Corrosion can build up on the battery terminals, leading to a weak connection and making it difficult for the battery to supply power. Regular cleaning can help prevent this.
  • Battery charge:

    Regularly check your battery's charge, especially in colder months when batteries are more likely to fail. Most batteries last three to five years, but checking their condition after about two years is a good idea.
  • Secure placement:

    Ensure the battery is secure and not moving around while driving, which can cause damage and shorten its lifespan.

Brake Maintenance

Brakes are a critical safety feature, and you should never overlook their maintenance. Regular checks and service can help ensure optimal performance and safety. Key aspects to consider include the following:

  • Brake pads and shoes:

    Inspect these regularly for wear and tear. If the pad thickness is less than 1/4 of an inch, it may be time for a replacement.
  • Brake rotors and drums:

    Inspect these components for cracks, warping, or damage and replace or resurfacing worn or damaged parts.
  • Brake fluid:

    You should check the fluid level regularly and have it replaced every two to three years or as per the manufacturer's instructions. Low brake fluid or old, contaminated fluid can affect braking performance.
  • Brake lines and hoses:

    Inspecting these for leaks or damage is critical, as they carry the brake fluid from the master cylinder to the brakes.

Other Essential Checks

In addition to the above, these are some other crucial components that require regular checks and maintenance for optimal vehicle performance and safety:

  • Exhaust system:

    Check for any leaks, rust, or damage in the exhaust system that could impact performance or lead to harmful emissions.
  • Interior and exterior mirrors:

    Adjust and clean these regularly for better driving visibility.
  • Windshield wipers:

    Ensure they function well and replace them if they leave streaks or don't clear the windshield adequately.
  • Lights and signals:

    Check all lights and signals, including headlights, taillights, brake lights, turn signals, and emergency flashers, to ensure proper function.
  • Suspension and steering:

    Inspect for any issues that could impact the car's handling or safety, such as worn shocks, control arms, and tie rod ends.

Schedule Your Next Maintenance Service at Mercedes-Benz of Temecula

While do-it-yourself maintenance is tempting, complex vehicles such as Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, and Hyundai benefit immensely from professional dealer expertise. Our state-of-the-art service center at Mercedes-Benz of Temecula provides cutting-edge diagnostics equipment, certified technicians, and genuine original equipment manufacturer parts to ensure your vehicle always performs at its best. Contact us today to schedule your next maintenance service and keep your vehicle running smoothly.