Car Maintenance Schedule: Do You Trust Your Auto Mechanic?
As your Service Floorman for Kendall Toyota with 37 years of industry experience, my number one priority is to keep you and your family safe on the road. The best way to do that is to stay up to date with your car’s maintenance schedule. If you ignore repairs recommended by your mechanic it’ll cost you big time down the road. According to an AAA survey, 66% of drivers admit they don’t trust their auto mechanic. Are you one of them? If so, I’m here to show you that not all mechanics are out to rob you blind. Just like in any industry, there are good auto mechanics that truly care about their customers and there are bad auto mechanics just looking to make a quick buck. The key is to establish trust and communication with your chosen maintenance shop in order to keep your vehicle in solid running condition…without spending an unnecessary fortune.
I’m not just trying to sell you on servicing your car. I literally see the same scenario unfold time and time again. For example, one of my recent customers was driving a Toyota FJ Cruiser with 80,000 miles and a thrown drive belt. A mechanic had recommended she fix it, but she declined. As a result, the damage ended up much worse than it ever needed to be. Parts of the belt wrapped around the front crank pulley damaging the crank seal, creating additional issues, and a bigger bill. I am the guy who handles the most complicated repairs and oversees our service department. I want to educate others on being proactive rather than reactive to prevent complications such as the one I shared above.
So how often should you service your car? Approximately every 5,000 miles.
Just like anything in life, ignoring problems will not solve them. But we all already know that. The real problem often stems from distrust or a breakdown of communication that causes people to be uncertain of their car’s needs. It’s no secret that people often assume their mechanic is up-selling them. That’s why finding a repair shop you trust is so important. That way you can listen to their recommendations without hesitation, saving you money and keeping you safe in the long run.
Just because your car is driving normal and appears to be fine it may still need maintenance. If you notice your car doing something unusual, bring it in and take the mechanic for a drive to show him or her exactly what you notice. In addition, the better you care for your car the better chance you have of it lasting a long time and having a higher resale value. If you take your car to the dealership for service there is a good chance the records will show on the CarFax. CarFax is a tool that dealers and consumers use before purchasing a vehicle to get a history of the car’s life.
Every 5,000 miles the core car maintenance should be done:
- Oil Change & Filter Check
One of the most important services to stay on top of is your oil change. It can prevent transmission problems, engine failure, and so forth. If your car runs on synthetic oil it will run a little longer than 5,000 miles. It is very important to know what kind of oil your car requires, using the wrong grade of oil or gas may void your factory warranty.
- Check Fluids
- Check Engine Air & Cabin Filters
To help keep you car running clean it is important to replace these filters when recommended. It is a low cost and simple maintenance routine that will keep you on the proactive path to having a better car.
- Check Tire Pressure
It is important to check tire pressure and tire condition. How a car is driven determines how the tires will wear. If a car is unused or rarely used this can also make tires wear faster in the form of things like dry rot. Additionally, just adding some air to the tires will make your car drive like new again!
- Have Tires Rotated
- Inspect For Cosmetic Damage
Yes, cosmetic damage can affect your vehicle. But so too can repairs if they are not properly conducted. For example if you have a bent rim, damaged tire, or have been in a minor accident you are at risk for potential suspension or mechanical damage. If there has been suspension damage it can also cause your tires to wear abnormally or affect how the car is handling.
- Maintenance Light Reset & Service Reminder
Your mechanic should reset your maintenance lights so that they turn back on again at the appropriate time when you need maintenance again. You should also receive a window sticker that’ll notify you when your next service is due.
You can become safer while maintaining the value of your vehicle by simply remaining aware and educated about the machinery you drive on a daily bases. Cars do not lie, even if they look clean on the exterior, the interior machinery tells all as to how they are cared for. I’m here to help you learn your car’s language so that it’ll work with you and tell you what it needs to thrive!
Are you performing all of 6 services outlined above on your vehicle every 5,000 miles?