Every vehicle needs routine maintenance… quite a bit of it, in fact. Every few thousand miles there is a checklist of items that need to be done (i.e. oil change, tire rotation, filter changes, etc.) Then, there are milestone mileages where more in-depth maintenance should be done (i.e. transmission flush, fuel injection system cleaning, sensor cleaning, etc.). Every car is different in the checklist that needs to be completed depending on the age of the car, how often it’s driven, how many miles it has on it, etc. Performing routine maintenance can save wear and tear on your vehicles, and it can save you LOTS of money in the future!
But, I have noticed lately that far too many women really don’t know anything about car maintenance. I feel so bad for their poor cars! If they don’t know when to take it in to be serviced, or what type of service needs to be done, they are probably 1) not getting proper maintenance, which causes additional wear and tear on the vehicle, and 2) is probably getting robbed for the work they do get done. Unfortunately, there are few shops that will won’t attempt to up-sell or take advantage of women… just because we’re women.
Suggestions to overcome this:
Do some research – know what maintenance is needed and when! Your best bet is to call the dealership and get specific information on your specific vehicle.
Don’t take your vehicle to the dealership for routine maintenance – I have actually found very few reasons to take a vehicle to the dealership… okay, I can’t think of any reasons. They overcharge for the simplest things (BTW – $2K for a routine 90K mile maintenance is TOO much!!), they attempt to up-sell everyone, and they suggest maintenance that doesn’t necessarily need to be done (i.e. you really don’t need a brake cleaning!).
Ask your friends and family who they trust with their vehicles – your friends and family will be the best resource to find a mechanic to take your vehicle to.
Make informed decisions – just because you take your vehicle in for an oil change doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t need your brakes done, too. If it’s a good mechanic they will check your brakes, filters, and all fluid levels (for free) to make sure that you don’t have anything that absolutely must be done. BTW – if the mechanic says that your brakes need to be done, then they probably do!
Keep a vehicle maintenance log – keeping a log of everything you have had done to your vehicle will help you (or your trusted mechanic) determine what the best plan for your vehicle is now and going forward. It is definitely easier to have a starting point rather than starting from scratch!