Skipping Your Car’s Scheduled Maintenance Could Cost You Big in the Long Run, Says Car Expert Mike Urban.

Dear Mike,

I’m a bit hesitant to follow my car manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. As a car enthusiast, I feel like I know my car better than anyone else. Plus, it can be quite pricey to have all of those services done at the dealership. Is it really necessary to adhere to the schedule, or are there some things I can safely skip?

Thanks in advance for your advice!

Best, Aloisius

Dear Aloisius,

First of all, let me say that I applaud your passion for your car. As a fellow car enthusiast, I understand the desire to maintain and care for your ride like it’s a member of the family. However, I have to caution against ignoring your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.

You see, those schedules are developed based on extensive testing and research by the manufacturers. They know the ins and outs of your vehicle and what maintenance is necessary to keep it running safely and efficiently. Skipping recommended services can lead to bigger, more costly problems down the road. Trust me, I’ve seen it all before.

Let me give you an example. A customer once came into my shop with a car that was running rough and had a check engine light on. They had been skipping oil changes because they thought doing it every 5,000 km was excessive. As a result, the engine was low on oil and sludge had built up in the engine block, causing serious damage. Had they followed the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, they would have avoided this costly problem entirely.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “But Mike, I’m a DIY kind of guy and can do most of these services myself. Isn’t that enough?” While I certainly encourage owners to learn how to do basic maintenance and inspections, there are some things that require special tools or expertise. For example, changing your own oil and filter is great, but do you have the diagnostic equipment to determine why your check engine light is on or the expertise to identify a worn-out suspension component? That is where the services of a qualified mechanic come in.

You also mention concerns about cost. I understand that maintenance services can seem expensive, but the reality is that they are a small price to pay compared to the cost of major repairs or replacement parts that can result from neglecting maintenance. In fact, regular maintenance can actually save you money in the long run by identifying small problems before they become major issues.

So, in summary, my advice to you, Aloisius, is to follow your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. Don’t skip services or delay them in an effort to save a few bucks. Your car – and your wallet – will thank you in the long run.

And if you still feel hesitant, remember this: neglecting your car’s maintenance is like neglecting your own health. Sure, you might feel fine for a while, but eventually, the consequences catch up with you. Give your car some TLC and it will reward you with years of reliable performance.

Keep on truckin’,

Mike Urban