You depend on your car to travel about town taking care of daily tasks from getting to and from work to dropping the kids off and from getting groceries to visiting with friends. Because of this, you want to know your car remains dependable, and more importantly safe to drive. While many drivers are happy to drive their cars without worrying about safe operation until something goes wrong, savvy drivers know that preventative maintenance schedules keep their vehicles running smoothly.
It’s only common sense to realize that while it takes a bit of money to manage regular maintenance schedules, it costs far more to fork out money in repairs. So can following your recommended maintenance schedule really keep service costs down? The answer is yes, and here’s why.
Common Preventative Maintenance Schedules
Every car manufacturer provides a recommended preventative maintenance schedule in their car manual. Usually, based on mileage intervals, your manual will list the time to schedule preventative maintenance for:
- Air filtration
- Fuel system
- Automatic transmission fluid
- Full-service oil, lube & filter change
- Battery maintenance
- Light bulb replacement
- Brake system fluid
- Serpentine belt replacement
- Cabin air filter
- Tire rotation
- Cooling system
- Wiper blade replacement
- Fuel filter replacement
The basics of what maintenance is recommended tend to be the same. Cars under 36,000 miles need the basics, but as mileage increases, more maintenance makes sense. The reason? These are the key car functions that need regular attention to avoid more costly repairs or replacement down the road.
Severe Maintenance Schedules
In some cases, you should be following what is known as a severe maintenance schedule. Some conditions can cause quicker wear and tear on your vehicle including:
- High humid climate
- Dusty environments
- Temperatures that regularly drop below 10 degrees or rise above 90 degrees
- If you use your vehicle for both work and pleasure
- Short trips or frequent driving in stop and go traffic daily
- High mileage
- Manual transmission vehicles
These conditions lead to issues more quickly, so a more aggressive preventative maintenance schedule is required. If you don’t follow the schedule you are actually decreasing not only the lifespan of your car’s parts but also the lifespan of the car itself. Replacement for parts can add up quickly, but a new car – well that’s a major financial strain.
Budgeting for Maintenance
Preventative maintenance with your auto service shop is actually a predictable expense. You can look at your maintenance schedule and put aside the small amount of money required to cover maintenance costs. However, when it comes to repairs, they are always unexpected and can occur when you don’t have the money available. You end up without a vehicle and high-cost repairs that could have been avoided by simply scheduling regular auto service appointments.
Costly Repairs and Replacements
So, what types of repairs and replacements can be avoided by following your preventative maintenance schedule? Here are a few examples:
- Early wear on your suspension
- Hidden engine damage
- Damage to the head gasket and pistons
- Broken radiators
- Slipping gear shift
- Failing brakes
- Full engine failure
- Tire failure
All of these things are not only costly but also dangerous. Without maintenance, you can be driving a car on the verge of a breakdown. You could be at risk of something crucial failing like your brakes.
The True Impact of Missed Maintenance
When you don’t bring your car for auto service appointments, the following occurs:
- Breakdowns increase
- Your car lifespan decreases
- Your car’s resale value decreases
- Any warranties on your car become invalid
- You contribute more greenhouse emissions
- You experience poor fuel economy
- Your insurance company might refuse claims citing poor maintenance
- You put yourself, your passengers, and other drivers at risk if your car isn’t safe
Auto repairs due to poor maintenance are always far more costly. However, as you can see it costs you money beyond just repairs.
Maintenance is Like Insurance
On a final note, a good way to look at preventative maintenance is to consider it as a form of insurance. You make monthly payments for your auto insurance even though you might feel it’s a waste of money. However, the moment something goes wrong, that insurance shows it was well worth the investment. Car maintenance is the same. When you invest in regular maintenance fees you invest in keeping your car running properly. By paying smaller amounts here and there, you avoid major costs in repairs.
And unlike insurance, you don’t have money to fall back on if something goes wrong. If you don’t pay for maintenance, it’s just like having no insurance – you are the one who has to pay to cover all the damages. Worse, you only have yourself to blame!
Schedule your preventative maintenance appointment at one of our three locations today! Contact us online here.