Sometimes it seems we live in such a disposable society. It’s amazing all the things we throw away.
“New and improved” comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on to the next thing. It seems like when we were kids, our parents were real sticklers about taking care of our belongings. You know, hang up your clothes, polish your shoes, put away your toys. If something got lost or ruined by neglect – tough, we had to do without it.
We couldn’t afford new vehicles very often, so we tried to make them last as long as we could. It’s a good thing that vehicles (generally speaking) are more reliable these days. They just don’t break down as often. And the good news for us penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles with proper care. The engineering’s there and so is the manufacturing quality. The missing ingredient is us making sure we follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.
Is it really that bad to get off schedule? Well, it all adds up and can you really afford to replace a smaller expense with a potentially larger one? That becomes the real question worth considering. Every time you go a couple thousand extra miles between oil changes, you’ve created an opportunity for sludge to form and clog passages. Then some parts don’t get oiled and they start to wear out faster.
Skip a cooling system service, and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted, and the radiator starts being damaged – one step closer to a failure. The same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning – really everything on your schedule.
It’s also even more important for older vehicles. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they’re a bit more stressed anyway. But it’s never too late to get back on track with your maintenance and to hold off further damage.
It’s just another example of our parents being right. (Surprising how often that happens, isn’t it?) And it really does start with the oil change service just like Dad said. When you get a full service oil change we top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. That’s like your safety net; go in for oil changes on time, and let our service experts help you keep track of the rest.
Of course, it’s inevitable that some things are going to wear out along the way, like alternators, water pumps and such. But those are often cheaper than a new car payment. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to cause other potential problems. It’s like having high cholesterol; you don’t want to wait for a heart attack before you address it. Make better sense?
In the table above there’s an example of a 2003 Volkswagen Jetta recommended maintenance schedule. Yours may look similar, or not, but almost always it’s found in the back section of your vehicle’s owners manual. If you haven’t already familiarized yourself with this resource, there’s no better time than the present. Among other things, it will help better acquaint you with all the different elements of your vehicle. You will also thank yourself in the event you ever need to recall this information on a moment’s notice.
Bottom line, we’re not saying we can predict your vehicle will fail if you ignore the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule but we ARE intending to convey that you GREATLY increase the likelihood of necessary repairs, which in turn are often met with higher associated cost. We’re here to help you stay on track and make your investment one that you not only enjoy but also feel good about in terms of overall cost of ownership. Time and again it has been proven that keeping up with your service intervals is the answer.
So, next time somebody may ask you to share the secret (provided you’ve done your part and your vehicle is running exactly as it should), you now have the answer: routine maintenance