SUV Maintenance & Care

As sports utility vehicles, SUVs have a great amount of appeal for their off-road capabilities, spacious cargo areas, elevated profiles, and impressive status. The powerful and fun vehicles require specific maintenance protocols to sustain their quality and value. When owners take excellent care of their SUVs, they can enjoy all the benefits of their adventure-ready vehicles. The best way to take care of your SUV is by managing your maintenance through CarAdvise.


Maintenance Services Your SUV Needs


For SUVs, tires are one of the most important parts of the vehicle. Proper tire maintenance ensures your vehicle will drive smoothly and reliably, you will optimize your vehicle’s gas mileage, and you will save money on tires. In order to properly grip the road, tires need to be inflated to the correct pressure. It is important to follow a regular schedule for rotating tires and aligning wheels so that the tire tread wears evenly and tires last as long as possible. Maintaining tire wheel alignment also contributes to an economic use of fuel. The tire rotation and wheel alignment schedules are assigned by the manufacturer, so take a look at your owner’s manual and keep track of your maintenance history. Additionally, you need to keep an eye on the tire tread depth, and replace the tires before the tread erodes to a depth less than 2/32 of an inch. Finally, if a single tire is damaged and needs to be replaced, it is critical that two tires are replaced so the wheels are even across the front and back of the vehicle.


Oil Change

In order to ensure your SUV’s engine runs smoothly, has adequate lubrication, and is free of debris, the motor oil and oil filter need to be changed regularly. The oil and filter change frequency depends upon the manufacturer’s specifications, but generally, the two can be changed about every 6 months or 5,000 miles, whichever comes first.



A car battery is an essential component of an SUV’s hardware. The cost and lifespan of an SUV battery depends on the exact make and model of the vehicle as well as the ways in which the vehicle is used. Batteries generally last between 3-5 years. When the battery needs to be replaced, a check engine light will indicate that the battery is weak or expired. Additionally, if the engine is slow to start, the battery may be nearing the end of its lifespan. A failed battery can be a significant inconvenience so it can be helpful to visually check the battery instead of waiting for a check engine light or delayed engine start. To inspect an SUV battery, open the hood, look at the battery, locate the translucent fluid casing, and evaluate the fluid level. A low fluid level indicates that the battery needs to be replaced.



Coolant is important to the health of your SUV’s engine because it prevents your engine from overheating. There are many different types of coolant, and it is important that your SUV is filled with the correct product. If the wrong coolant is used, the solution can corrode parts and cause damage that is expensive to repair. Coolant maintenance is specific to the manufacturer’s specifications. However, in general, newer vehicles may be able to utilize the same coolant for up to 10 years, and older vehicles may need a coolant flush as frequently as once a year.


How SUV Maintenance is Different from Other Car Types

In comparison to other car types such as sedans and compact vehicles, SUVs are bigger, more powerful, have higher centers of gravity, and require more gas per mile. Additionally, SUVs are also driven in conditions that sedans and compact cars are typically not capable of traversing. The differences in design and usage necessitate special maintenance procedures to upkeep the vehicle appearance and functionality. In every type of vehicle, care must be taken to ensure the tires, fluid levels, battery, and other components meet appropriate standards. In SUVs, additional care must be taken to maintain the quality of the exterior finish, keep the suspension in good condition, optimize the gas mileage, properly balance cargo weight, and more. Regular car washes and wax coatings can protect the vehicle finish when you drive off-road. Maintaining the tires and wheels, attending to the power steering fluid and belt, and regularly inspecting the suspension can ensure your vehicle is ready for any terrain. Driving with at least half a tank of gas improves the mileage and fuel pump functionality. If you carry heavy cargo loads or tow equipment, be sure to center the weight of the objects and make proper towing connections. 


Average Cost of SUV Maintenance

According to a factsheet by AAA, the average cost of vehicle maintenance is around $1000 per year. However, this can differ depending on the type of vehicle, age of the vehicle, and driving habits. Because SUVs are larger, more complex vehicles and they are often used in rough conditions, the maintenance tends to be more expensive. To save money and avoid repairs based on negligence, it is important to stick to a regular maintenance schedule.


SUV Maintenance Schedule

The maintenance schedule for an SUV will vary based on a variety of factors such as mileage, age, make and model, and usage patterns. Maintenance tasks can be classified as seasonal, short term, or long term. The owner’s manual will specify maintenance timelines for each component of the vehicle. To complement the guidance outlined by the manufacturer, it is helpful to have a car care partner who can issue maintenance reminders, provide trusted services, and offer the best rates. CarAdvise is a free online car care platform that helps you manage all of your SUV’s needs with ease. With the CarAdvise app, tech advisors are available to offer advice, maintenance prices are available up front, you can easily book services with trusted shops, and you can manage the services through the app.


Low-Maintenance SUV Models

According to U.S. News, among the most reliable SUVs are the BMW X6, Nissan Armada, Kia Soul, Kia Sportage, and the Chevrolet Equinox. According to the Kelley Blue Book, the cheapest SUVs to maintain include the Hyundai Venue, Subaru Forester, Subaru Outback, Jeep Wrangler 2-Door, Nissan Armada, and Infiniti QX80. 

For every SUV make and model, you will need quality car care. Check out CarAdvise to learn more!

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