Many car owners spend little or no time preparing for a scheduled maintenance visit to the dealership. They merely drive in and agree to the recommendation of the service advisor. This can be a costly error.
This article will tell you how, when and where to have your car serviced. It will also show you how to use the various tools on Edmunds.com to schedule service visits with local dealerships or independent garages.
What Is Needed?
The car’s service manual is the best way to learn how to maintain your car. It was written by the factory representatives who designed and built the car. It stands to reason that they should also know how best to keep everything running smoothly.
New Vehicles Under Warranty
If your car is less than three years old and has fewer than 36,000 miles (or whatever the terms of your warranty are), mechanical problems will be fixed under the bumper-to-bumper warranty for no charge. However, this doesn’t cover wear items like brake pads, and your car will still need “routine maintenance” for which you will have to pay. Routine maintenance is most often oil and filter changes, tire rotations and various inspections.
An Overview of Required Service
Car owners usually become aware of the need for routine maintenance at certain mileage intervals. These intervals are described in the owner’s manual or in our car maintenance section. Changing your oil every 3,000 miles as “recommended” by the quick oil change chains and car dealerships is typically more than twice as often as necessary. Again, look to the owner’s manual for proper scheduled car maintenance intervals.
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