It’s important to keep up with your car’s routine maintenance needs. Not only does this ensure optimal performance, but it also extends the longevity of your vehicle. Specifically, you’ll want to take your car to the service center at least two or three times a year for an oil change, tire rotation, and other preventative maintenance steps.
As you anticipate your next service appointment, there are a few steps you can take to prepare for the visit—ensuring you get the right maintenance performed, and that you don’t spend more money than you need to. Here are our tips.
Consult with Your Owner’s Manual
The first thing we’d recommend is that you spend a few minutes with the owner’s manual for your vehicle. Note that this manual was written by a factory representative—someone involved with the design and construction of your car. Obviously, this is someone who knows how to keep the vehicle running smoothly!
The service advisor you meet with will also be knowledgeable, but remember that he or she also stands to make a commission on your service appointment—so for example, if the manual says you only need a transmission flush every 60,000 miles but the service tech says you need one every 20,000, you might consider giving more weight to the manual’s recommendation.
Check Your Warranty
If your car is less than three years old, it probably still has a warranty, which may cover some—but not all—of your maintenance and repair needs. Before you go to the service center, review the terms of your warranty. That way, you’ll be ready to ensure you get the service provisions you’re due, without overpaying.
Feel Free to Shop Around
Hopefully you have a service center that you feel comfortable with—but if not, don’t hesitate to shop around, get different quotes, and compare rates. Using your owner’s manual, you can usually get a good sense of what work needs to be done at different mileage intervals. Then, you can email the service managers at a few local shops and ask them for some estimates. This is a good way to make an informed decision about your vehicle maintenance needs.
On a related note, spend some time poking around the service center website before you go in for your appointment. These days, most service centers offer online discounts and coupons, which can be helpful for reducing the cost of your scheduled service.
Keep Up with Your Vehicle Maintenance Needs
The bottom line for vehicle owners is that, sooner or later, you’ll need to have some service done—and your manual is a good place to find out roughly what kind of maintenance you’ll need to schedule, and when. This is one of several ways you can take care of your car without paying more than you need to.
Find out more about smart vehicle ownership; reach out to the automotive experts at Get My Auto for recommendations on great Orange County vehicle services.