An ink jet printer and a method of operating and ink jet printer are disclosed. The method includes using a maintenance algorithm to control timing of a maintenance action keeping a historical log of an operating characteristic of the ink jet printer over a period of time and changing the maintenance algorithm for subsequent use by the ink jet printer based upon the historical log. The ink jet printer has a memory which stores the plurality of maintenance algorithms within. A control device keeps the historical log of the operating characteristics of the ink jet printer over time. The control device also associates the plurality of maintenance algorithms with a plurality of user profiles which are representative of different usage patterns with respect to the operating characteristics. The control device then determines which one of the plurality of user profiles is best suited to the historical log and selects one of the plurality of maintenance algorithms corresponding to the determined user profile.