You may think you’re doing your car a favor by getting regular maintenance done. But certain types of care may not provide significant benefits.
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It makes sense that getting preventive maintenance done on your car could help you prevent more significant headaches down the line. But are all services created equal? The answer is no, so while some may be worth the investment, others are not. We’ll discuss the ones that aren’t so you don’t waste your time or money.
Before we jump into the list, you should dive deeper into this topic before making any decisions on your car. Think of the list as a simple heads-up versus a professional recommendation, as vehicles differ in their year, make, engine, etc.
Whether you go to the dealership or a regular mechanic, you’ll probably see several signs for tune-ups. While they can’t hurt, getting one done may not be in your best interest, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
Tune-ups were recommended with older cars that had different technologies and capabilities. Nowadays, most modern vehicles have onboard computers that keep an eye on performance. If anything’s off, the computer will let you know when it’s time to visit the mechanic to get the problem fixed. In short, tune-ups could be considered obsolete, so save your money.
2. Extended Warranties
If you’ve been looking at buying a car soon, you’ll probably be swamped with extended warranty offers that promise to cover car maintenance costs. Can they provide peace of mind if something goes wrong? Sure, but there are two main issues with extended warranties:
- Many times, the cost of an extended warranty exceeds repair costs.
- Some extended warranties are quite picky in what they cover.
If the car has an original warranty, use that. When it nears expiration, you can then decide on going the extended route, but you may find it to be more trouble than it’s worth.
3. Overpriced Oil Changes
Unless your car has a high-performance engine, you probably don’t need expensive synthetic oil. And as for getting oil changes every 3,000 miles, that may be too much.
The 3,000-mile recommendation is from the old days when cars and motor oil weren’t as advanced. Nowadays, every 5,000 to 7,500 miles is what you should aim for.
Do you tow heavy weight frequently with your car? Do you drive a lot in extreme climates? If that’s the case, then you may want to get oil changes every 3,000 miles.
Otherwise, you should be good to go at nearly double that mileage if you’re just a casual driver.
Can a dealership offer nice perks when you bring your car in for service? Sure, especially if it’s a large dealership for a luxury brand. Is bringing your vehicle to the dealership necessary if it is no longer under warranty? No, and it’s probably not your best bet either.
Dealerships have tons of operational costs they need to cover. To achieve this goal, they often charge higher prices.
You can get similar quality work done through an independent mechanic, if not better. And you can usually get it for cheaper too. Keep this in mind the next time you need your car serviced.
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