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No matter what type of vehicle you happen to drive, the manufacturer has prescribed a regular maintenance schedule to keep your car or truck running at its best. This is commonly called factory scheduled maintenance, or 30/60/90K maintenance—so called because the usual schedule for these maintenance services is every 30,000 miles or so. Many drivers see this maintenance schedule as optional—after all, why take the car in if it's still running? However, this schedule is not simply a ploy to get you to spend money at the auto repair shop—it's important for the overall health of your vehicle and to avoid costly and avoidable auto repairs.
You should pay attention to your factory maintenance schedule for several important reasons:
- Your warranty may depend on it. Some manufacturers place such importance on 30/60/90K maintenance that not following the schedule could void your vehicle warranty.
- It can prevent small problems from becoming big ones. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” as the saying goes. Regular maintenance can identify possible problems early before they cause a breakdown or damage other parts, saving you possibly thousands of dollars down the road.
- It can prolong the life of your vehicle. Regular maintenance doesn't just keep your car running; it keeps it running efficiently, which translates to more miles over its lifetime.
- It helps retain your car's value. If you ever sell the vehicle, you'll sell it for more if it has been kept in good shape.
What does the maintenance involve?
Typically, the first step in 30/60/90K maintenance is to inspect the vehicle's major systems for signs of problems, followed by any of the following maintenance procedures as needed:
- Replacing spark plugs and/or plug wires
- Replacing filters
- Checking fluids (brake, coolant, transmission, etc.) and topping off or replacing fluids
- Tire rotation and pressure check
- Oil change
- Timing belt inspection
- Brake servicing
During proper maintenance, a trustworthy mechanic will notify you of any potential problems, but won't replace parts that don't need replacing (part of what saves you money during maintenance). As a rule of thumb, the higher the mileage on the car, the more likely parts will need to be replaced. (The timing belt is usually changed at 90,000-100,000 miles, for example.)
Does the dealership have to perform the maintenance?
While factory scheduled maintenance may be required as part of your warranty, that doesn't mean the dealership has to do the maintenance, although they like to make it seem that way. Your warranty will remain intact as long as you have the service performed by a certified auto repair specialist. In this way, you can receive quality service while avoiding the premium rates charged by the dealership service department.
For top quality auto maintenance and repair in Mountain View and Palo Alto (including 30/60/90K factory maintenance) The Car Doctor offers unmatched five-star customer service at affordable rates, backed by a 12-month/12,000 mile warranty on qualified repairs; they can be reached at (650) 492-6853 for a free quote—and be sure to check their online specials for even more savings.
The Car Doctor Blog
Written & Published By MORBiZ