We've all heard about checking the oil, and it's pretty clear – or maybe we should say streaky – when you need new wipers, but many people don't know about or even understand regular maintenance when their odometers reach milestones such as 60,000, 50,000, or 100,000 miles. This unfortunate oversight can mean financially devastating problems such as premature failure or even your car being junked. It could also mean you're more likely to get scammed by mechanics.
Here are some ways to learn about what you should do:
- List all your services: Have you ever panicked because there wasn't a reminder on your windshield? A short log of all the work done can solve everything. You can use a book or app to track service appointments and you can also track stuff like repairs and replacements with this easy system. To go a step further, consider adding fueling information and information about dipstick checks you do yourself.
- Study your manual: All vehicles have a booklet just for them, and these small books contain the maker's recommendations for maintenance for your auto. Many people don't realize how much these recommendations can vary from one car to another, so they end up trusting what potentially unscrupulous dealers and mechanics say about the upkeep their auto requires. We know the correct upkeep for every car we work on at Christian Brothers Automotive in Kansas City, MO, but you can't rely on everyone. If you do, it could cost a pile of money over the years.
- Don't forget car washes: Looking good is not the same as working properly in many instances, but keeping your auto free of dirt and grime can be considered part of maintenance. If you don't often go to the car wash, the residue will damage your paint.
- Make a checklist: Forgetting about vehicle maintenance is a common problem, but a simple method for getting it all done on time is to make a list of everything your vehicle requires when you drive it home. Then, you can document each item as your auto is maintained at the various milestones. If you're not crazy about keeping a notebook, there are simple digital solutions.