It’s one thing if your mechanic tells you that there’s a problem that needs to be fixed on your vehicle when you take it in for an oil change, it’s another thing when they give you a high-pressure sales pitch to get a pricey transmission flush or want to charge you $30 to get your air filter changed.You can save a lot of money by skipping the pricey, optional extras when you go in for regular maintenance, and pay attention to your vehicle’s maintenance schedule and history instead.
You should never neglect your vehicle’s regular maintenance, and we’re not saying that you shouldn’t trust your mechanic’s opinion on what’s worth getting done on your car, but a little education about your vehicle’s maintenance schedule goes a long way. Brush up on what your manufacturer suggests you have done at what intervals, and you’ll be in a better position to resist when that “complimentary 100-point inspection” turns up a “sudden” need to get your air filters replaced—when you know you’ll be due for new ones in 3 more months (or better yet, when you know how to replace them yourself for a fraction of the cost.)
The Simple Dollar suggests you save your vehicle’s maintenance history, so you always have an easy way to look back and see what you’ve had done and when, then line it up with your maintenance schedule.
Previously mentioned aCar for Android can help you take it with you, but even a spreadsheet will do. Knowing your schedule and having a maintenance log will put you in a much better position when you go to your dealer or mechanic to get regular maintenance done.