If you’re reading this article, then you probably care about your car and how it runs. Even though you care, there is still that moment of dread when your service technician tells you the manufacturer recommends some additional service. Your heart beats a little faster, your blood pressure rises. You worry about spending more money than you expected.
And you worry that if you say “no”, you might be harming your car or compromising safety.
At the risk of sounding like your dad, you really should have done your homework. All of this stuff is in your owner’s manual. But it is not like you want to keep your maintenance schedule on your nightstand for bedtime reading.
Cars are complicated machines and it takes care to keep them running well. That is why manufacturers have maintenance schedules that explain how to keep your vehicle performing efficiently and prevent costly break downs. In a typical owners manual you’ll find: Oil change, brake fluid and pad change, coolant system service, transmission service, battery electrolyte levels, cables and terminals, tire pressure and wear, CV boots, cabin air filter, air conditioning, heater, fuel filter, air filter, belts and hoses, power steering fluid, differential service, fuel system cleaning, and wheel alignment. And then there are mechanical service requirements like timing belt changes, valve adjustment, steering function, engine and exhaust leaks – yeah, it is a really long list!
Fortunately, this isn’t a test: You don’t need to have it memorized. Your service center has access to your manufacturer’s recommendations. So do not be surprised when your technician reminds you something is due. Your manufacturer has taken great care in putting together your maintenance schedule. Let your service center help you stay on top of important maintenance. You can expect them to suggest recommended services and tell you what problems they find under the hood. They will also explain how urgent these services are so you can work them into your budget.