Eight Tips for Preventive Maintenance on Low Annual Mileage Cars

by | Aug 7, 2013 | Preventative Maintenance

Does your car rarely leave your parking spot, driveway, or garage?  If you aren’t logging many miles on your vehicle then there are some adjustments you can follow when having your car serviced to ensure you’re getting the most for your service dollar.

Wondering if you are a low mileage driver?  As a rule of thumb, many low mileage drivers, those logging less than 600 miles per month, fall into the following categories:

  • You’re retired and no longer commute to and from work.
  • You work from home, live close to work or use public transportation.
  • You’ve joined a car pool and therefore have significantly reduced your annual mileage.
  • You’ve acquired an extra vehicle that doesn’t get much use.

Have a car that fits the “low mileage” criteria?  You’ll want to consider these eight tips for servicing the vehicle.

  1. To start, you’ll still want to take the car to your auto repair shop at least every 6 months to monitor the condition of your vehicle.  Things can go wrong (even with a garaged vehicle) if your car isn’t being driven.
  2. Only change the oil when it becomes dirty.  Don’t automatically change your oil every few months.  This is a waste oil and money.
  3. Have your car placed on a lift for a tire inspection at least every six months.  Check for dry rot, damage, etc.
  4. Check the air filter and ventilation system every six months. Both the air filter and the ventilation system can make great homes for all sorts of animals.
  5. Check the condition of the fuel lines and other rubber components under the car to make sure they are not being chewed or eaten.
  6. Drive the car at least once a month on the highway for at least 15 miles.
  7. Add a carbon eliminator to your gas tank yearly to avoid carbon build-up.
  8. Check all the fluids every six months.  The antifreeze and brake fluid deteriorate with age.

The preventive maintenance on your automobile should reflect the way you use your car.  You don’t want to go to an auto repair shop that takes a “One Service Fits All” approach.  The balance between doing too little and too much should be part of the service and repair shop’s job. Finally, if you haven’t already done so, be sure to check into a low mileage discount with your insurance company.


  1. Emily Bennette

    I liked that you pointed out that it would be smart to consider getting your car tires inspected every six months. That is great for me to understand because I want to get my first car this October. So, I want to get a professional to help me keep my car in good shape and to look for things that might have issues.

    • Brian England

      Thanks for reinforcing the need to have a professional person evaluate a car Emily. I like your website and it brought back great memories of our visit to Grand Junction and the National Parks near by. Hope everything is going well during these strange challenging times. Brian

  2. Emily Bennette

    This is some really good information about car repairs. Thanks for explaining that you will want to consider how many miles the car will need to go. That also would be smart to get an expert to help with car repairs. That way, I know that my car would keep working for a long time.


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About the Author

About Brian England

Brian England, the current president of BA Auto Care (formerly British American Auto Care), got his start with an auto apprenticeship in a small town in northwest of London. He came to the U.S. in 1972 to work for a Land Rover dealer in Rockville, MD. A few years later, he started British American Auto Care with his wife, Jennifer. Brian is a big believe in preventative maintenance, and his philosophy is to encourage and educate drivers on the benefits of a regular maintenance plan.