The average age of vehicles on the road has increased to about 12 years old, which is two years older than just a decade previously. So, chances are high that if you’re reading this article right now, your vehicle is no “spring chicken.”
And when the check engine light flickers on or an unusual smell wafts through the A/C ducts, a lot of people hesitate to do anything at all. When nothing appears wrong with your car on the surface, it’s even harder to motivate yourself to take care of it.
That’s why today we’re going to take a look at your factory scheduled maintenance and help you decide whether or not to follow it!
What is a Factory Scheduled Maintenance?
In most people’s minds, you take your car in for repair when it needs to be repaired.
Brakes squealing? Get them looked at. Blown tire? Get it replaced.
Pretty simple stuff overall.
But car manufacturers have done a lot of research and testing into the general wear and tear of your vehicle. They understand its limitations and they’ve determined a set amount of intervals (based on mileage) when components need to be repaired, replaced, or simply inspected.
This maintenance schedule chart is usually included in physical paperwork along with your vehicle manual, but often it is included in documentation online. Sometimes, you may need to visit the manufacturer’s website to search for the specific chart.
A simple oil change is a great example of a common scheduled maintenance that almost everyone experiences on a regular basis. Usually, you get an oil change every 3,000-5,000 miles – depending on your car, mileage, oil, etc.
It’s such a routine practice that we probably associate with it the same way we do a haircut or a check-up. But oil changes are a regular, factory scheduled maintenance must that’s usually determined by the manufacturer.
Should You Stick to a Factory Scheduled Maintenance?
The question becomes whether or not you need to abide by this so-called car maintenance schedule.
After all, if your car is gliding smoothly down the road – 10 years old or not – what’s the harm in riding it out?
Get Full Performance
For starters, a scheduled servicing can help your vehicle stay in tip-top shape for longer. Unless your car is sitting in a garage somewhere untouched, you are constantly wearing down your car’s simplest functions.
Whether it’s the slow-but-sure balding of a tire or the wearing down of a timing belt, a lot of little things can go wrong that you may not even be aware of. You assume that your car is functioning just fine but that’s because you’re simply used to it.
The slightest squeal goes in one ear and out the other and a little rumbling feels normal because you haven’t experienced your car in its prime in so long.
When you abide by scheduled maintenance, you prolong the life of your car.
Save Yourself Money
Other than not knowing there’s an issue, one of the biggest reasons most people probably avoid their vehicle maintenance schedule is money.
Especially if problems aren’t obvious, nobody wants to spend money if they feel they don’t have to. The reality, though, is that a large portion of people can’t afford emergency vehicle repair bills.
We’ve all been there before: smoke streams out of the hood, the car won’t start before we head out for work, etc. It’s a nightmare for some people and it can leave us in emergency situations that are not ideal.
Problems like these, force us to make immediate decisions that may not be in our best interest and end up costing a lot more in the long run.
On the flip side, adhering to your factory scheduled maintenance may seem like a waste of money, but your future self will thank you later. Even having a professional mechanic inspect your vehicle – regardless of repairs – will give you some peace of mind.
Maintain Your Car’s Value
Whether you’re thinking about it now or not, at some point you might need to trade or sell your car.
Most cars won’t last forever, and sometimes you just need an update just for your own quality of life. Many people use their old vehicles to offset the cost of a new car by either privately selling or trading into a dealership.
But there’s a lot of factors that go into determining a car’s value. Appearance, mileage, and repairs all play a big role.
Appearance is on you, and mileage sometimes can’t be helped, but you’re in control of your car maintenance schedule. This is especially true if you plan on selling your car privately because people will know when a car has been taken care of or not.
A car that has regularly been serviced generally drives and feels smoother and that will be evident when someone test drives your used vehicle.
One final reason why it’s so important to stick to your vehicle’s factory scheduled maintenance is for your own safety.
We’ve talked about a lot of factors that relate to finances, but you need to make sure you’re staying safe out there on the roads. After all, we’re all barreling down the pavement at 60 miles-per-hour or more at a time, and accidents lurk around every corner.
No one plans on being in a car accident, but sadly, it’s sometimes unavoidable. Vehicle repair bills and medical bills compound and people are usually left in much worse states after an accident than before.
Vehicle maintenance schedules may not save you from a freak accident, but they can certainly keep your car from malfunctioning on its own. A well-kept vehicle means you stay safer as a driver.
Get Your Vehicle Inspected
Vehicles are not necessarily an inexpensive part of our lives. In fact for some people, they’re one of the most expensive parts of our lives.
This means that a lot of us may not want to spend money on inspections or repairs when we feel there isn’t already an issue with our car. But sticking to your factory scheduled maintenance can save you time, money, and headaches down the road and can even keep you safer in the long run.
If your car needs a routine check-up, feel free to schedule an appointment with us right away!