Ford Mustang General Maintenance

Ford Mustang General Maintenance

Last Updated November 17, 2016

Maintaining Your Mustang Is Vital

Here at CJ’s, we’re not all about just aftermarket modifications. Proper maintenance on your Mustang is just as important, if not more important than adding a cold air intake or cat-back exhaust system! Maintenance and bolt-on performance upgrades actually compliment each other -- properly maintaining your Mustang will result in maximum efficiency of your engine which equals strong power output numbers!

When it comes to changing your oil, most Mustang owners can do that with their eyes closed. However, as the odometer creeps forward, it’s imperative that you check multiple areas on your car for both safety and longevity. That goes for everything from tire tread, windshield wiper blades and coolant levels to light bulbs, transmission fluid, chassis lubrication and much more. All of which, we’ll cover in this article!

Keep in mind, that this CJ tech article is simply a general guide to maintenance across multiple generations of Mustangs. It is by no means an end-all for your particular car -- please refer to your Owner’s Manual for proper maintenance schedules pertaining to your specific year, model, trim, engine, transmission, etc.

Frequently Used Mustang Maintenance Parts

Mustang Maintenance Schedules CJ Pony Parts Bill's SN95 "Krimpstang" Mustang

Air Filters: Most OEM filters are made of paper. This is fine for regular drivers who don’t regularly push their cars to the limit. For those who are looking for the most performance out of their intake tract, be sure to replace the restrictive paper filter with an aftermarket drop-in filter or cold air intake for better flow.

Brake Pads and RotorsStopping is just as important, if not more important than how fast our Mustangs accelerate. With that said, be sure to inspect your brake pads and rotors often for wear. When you’re ready to replace, consider upgrading to some drilled/slotted rotors and high performance Hawk Performance pads to get the most out of your Mustang’s braking system.

Cooling System Parts - Hoses, etc.: The cooling system directly affects how efficient your engine is running, so be sure to check fluid levels periodically. Typically a coolant flush is required every ~80-100k miles for the average vehicle.

Oil: When changing the oil in your Mustang, it’s important to stick to name brands. After all, we want the best from our Mustang for both performance and longevity, and oil type plays a large factor in engine endurance.

Suspension Components - Shocks & StrutsWhen your shocks and struts are ready to be replaced, consider upgrading to Koni or Bilstein units for maximum performance out of your suspension system. While you’re at it, throw a set of lowering springs on there for a killer look and lower center of gravity for better handling. It’s also suggested that if you are lowering your car, that you replace/upgrade the shocks and struts to match for optimal handling capability.

Spark PlugsThere are three main factors that go into creating the power that exits through an internal combustion engine: air, fuel and spark. If any of those three factors are compromised, it could potentially be detrimental to your car’s performance and durability. Over time, spark plugs can become less effective, so it’s important to keep a close eye on them every 30k miles or so.

TiresThe type of tire and driving style rely heavily upon how long a set of tires will last you, but a good set of tires could last you up to ~50k miles! Then again, some soft compound, summer tires could last you as little as ~15k miles and drag radials even less, so be sure to do your homework when shopping for tires. And remember, tire grip is the first thing that will keep you from hitting an oncoming object, so don’t cheap out on tires!

Recommended Mustang Maintenance Schedules

There are certain items that you should be checking on frequent basis and some others that you only need to check every so often. This section will help you decipher which parts to check when you change your oil and during your major service intervals.

Check Frequently:

  • Dashboard Indicator Lights On
  • Lights
  • Tire Inflation and Condition
  • Windshield Washer Fluid
  • Engine Oil Level

Check Every Oil Change (~5,000 Miles):

  • Battery and Cables
  • Belts
  • Dashboard Indicator Light On
  • Engine Air Filter
  • Engine Oil
  • Exhaust
  • Hoses
  • Lights
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Tire Inflation and Condition
  • Transmission Fluid
  • Windshield Washer Fluid

Check Every Other Oil Change (~10,000 Miles):

  • Battery and Cables
  • Belts
  • Chassis Lubrication
  • Dashboard Indicator Light On
  • Engine Air Filter
  • Engine Oil
  • Exhaust
  • Hoses
  • Lights
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Tire Inflation, Condition & Rotation
  • Transmission Fluid
  • Windshield Washer Fluid
  • Wiper Blades
  • Spark Plugs (For Turbo/Supercharged Cars Only)

Major Service Intervals

15,000-Mile Service: After owning your car for roughly a year depending on your driving style, your first major service will come at 15,000 miles. Since your car is still relatively new, there really aren’t many things to go over on top of the regular service intervals. In addition to what you would typically inspect on your regular oil changes, be sure the check the items below:

  • Inspect Engine Air Filter, replace/recharge as needed.
  • Inspect and replace Cabin Air Filter, as needed.
  • Inspect and replace Windshield Wipers, as needed.
  • Inspect Wheel Alignment, adjust as needed.

30,000-Mile Service: At this point, you should have had your car for about two years, if you’re the average driver. In addition to the 15,000-mile items, be sure to go over the following.

  • Replace/recharge Engine Air Filter, if you haven’t already.
  • Replace Cabin Air Filter, if you haven’t already.
  • Mechanic May Recommend to replace Fuel Filter.
  • Check Transmission Fluid, flush if needed.
  • Check Power Steering Fluid, flush if needed.
  • Inspect Spark Plugs, replace if needed. (Naturally aspirated cars only; forced induction should be checked every 10,000 miles)

45,000-Mile Service: There’s nothing too special about 45,000 miles. Just go over the same list as the 15,000-mile service and you should be good to go!

  • Inspect tire tread, if you haven’t replaced them already, it’s probably time to pick up a new set.

60,000-Mile Service: This should be about 5 years for most drivers. And if it’s a newer Ford vehicle, this is a turning point for your vehicle due to the fact your factory Ford Drivetrain Warranty has now expired. Don’t fret, though! Making sure you’re performing all the proper maintenance for your Mustang will ensure longevity and long-lasting performance.

In addition to the 30,000-Mile Service, you’ll want to inspect/replace these items:

  • Inspect all belts, replace as needed.
  • Inspect all hoses, replace as needed.
  • Inspect brake pads/rotors and brake fluid, replace as needed.
  • Inspect timing belt, replace as needed.
  • Inspect HVAC components.

75,000-Mile Service: This should be the same service as 15,000 and 45,000 mile services.

100,000-Mile Service: Congratulations! You and your Mustang made it to the 100,000 mile mark! By this point, you’ve probably got the hang of all the proper maintenance to keep your Pony in tip-top shape.

Be sure to check these items in addition to the 30,000 and 60,000 mile services:

  • Inspect accessory drive belt(s); replace as needed.
  • Replace spark plugs

Wrapping It Up

If you’re running your Mustang past 100,000 miles, it may be time to have it professionally looked at to ensure that you haven’t missed anything with your own maintenance inspections. Also, don’t forget that this guide is strictly a general maintenance guide that covers most of the basic aspects of servicing your Mustang. For detailed, specific maintenance intervals, consult your Owner’s Manual and/or mechanic for more input.

Mustang General Maintenance

As much as we love installing cold air intakes, tunes, exhaust headers and other go-fast parts, it’s just as important to make sure your car is operating at prime efficiency. In part for safety, but also the fact that your car will make better power, if it’s running at optimal levels.

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