Car issues can crop up for a variety of reasons. As much as we might wish, all vehicles will need maintenance work or repairs at some point. Whether we’re talking about damage done during a fender-bender or an issue that came about just from usual wear and tear, keeping your car in good repair is the best way to help it last—and with the economy the way it is, more Americans than ever before are buying used vehicles and keeping their cars longer. Of course, no one really enjoys paying for car repairs; it’s just a necessary part of keeping our vehicles operating well. At Your Import Car Doctor, one of the questions we get asked most frequently is, “Do I really need car service that often?” While we pride ourselves on providing honest service, and will tell you when a service or repair is necessary and when it can wait, the factors below are a few things we commonly take into account.
A Caveat About Car Service
When we talk about car service, we specifically mean the routine maintenance and tune up services designed to keep your car running smoothly; in this case, we are not including repair work necessary due to a breakdown or collision. If you have questions about whether repair work is actually called for, your best bet is to ask your mechanic to explain the problem and ask as many questions as possible to understand what’s wrong. Doing so will give you a good idea of how that problem impacts your car’s driving ability, which is generally the deciding factor in whether the repair is necessary. Also, keep in mind that a trustworthy mechanic will tell you whether a repair is necessary or if it can safely wait (and for how long).
Age of Your Vehicle
If you have a brand new car still fresh from the lot and you’re reading about car upkeep, well, we applaud you for being proactive, but maybe it’s time to quit borrowing trouble before it happens. Brand new cars don’t often need much in the way of maintenance or repair, unless you tend to drive hard and go long distances. On the flip side, the older your vehicle gets, the more likely it is to need regular car service. When determining whether you really need to take your car in for a tune up, the age plays a big role; generally, the older your car is, the more likely it is to need shorter intervals between each car service.
The second half of the age question is mileage. The average American puts roughly 12,000 to 15,000 miles on their car in a one-year time period. Of course, that’s a national average, so that number includes those who only drive 2 miles a week and those who drive hundreds (or thousands) of miles a week. So, when we talk about vehicles needing to be serviced more frequently as they get older, there’s an inherent assumption that as your car ages, the miles just keep racking up. However, even if your car is older, you may not need to get it serviced as often if you hardly drive it. The best bet here is to see what your owner’s manual says; usually, it will give both a mileage count and a time span. Or, if your car is on the newer end of the spectrum, it may have a light on the dashboard that warns you when it’s time to schedule your next car service appointment. When in doubt, check with a trusted mechanic about specifics for your car.
If A Warranty Is Still Valid
If your car is still within the new car warranty period, or you have a warranty on new parts from a repair, this could impact whether or not you need to schedule car service more frequently. Some warranty coverage plans include an addendum about keeping your car in good repair and keeping up with required maintenance. Not doing so could void your warranty, which would be a major drag if you need actual repair work done that would otherwise be covered by the warranty. If you’re questioning how long you can put off service, check your warranty’s terms before making your decision.
You Think You See An Issue
If you’ve noticed that your car is leaking fluid or has started making a strange new noise, it could be a signal that your car needs some attention. It may just mean it’s time for a tune up, but that change in your vehicle could also be a sign of bigger problems. Start by scheduling car service, because many auto repair services also offer car diagnostic services as part of the routine procedures.
You Aren’t Keeping Your Car Forever
Here’s the thing about the advent of the internet: it means that most auto repair shops are connected and keep comprehensive records of each car service and repair, and they report that information to a national service. When you go to trade in or sell your car, the information on your vehicle’s upkeep can be made available through things like the CARFAX service. If you know you won’t keep your vehicle until the end of its lifespan, regular maintenance will help you sell your vehicle for a higher amount than a comparable car with a spotty maintenance history.
If you’re looking for trustworthy car service in Colorado Springs, bring your vehicles to Your Import Car Doctor. We pride ourselves on having the honesty and integrity to tell you when car service and repairs are necessary, and when they can wait, so call today to schedule your tune up!