ASK GARY: Is it OK to stretch out my vehicle’s regularly scheduled maintenance?
Initially designed to serve as a friendly reminder, the little “service” icon on the dashboard is often a source of frustration for drivers. Taking your car to your dealership for service is sure to cost you something, and it’s easier to think that your vehicle is running fine, rather than take time out of your busy schedule to take your car in for a tune-up. In today’s economic environment, some drivers are reluctant to put their time and money into maintenance, but routine checkups are the simplest way to save money by avoiding a costly problem in the future.
We have all heard saying like “a stitch in time saves nine,” and there is no better place to apply this thinking than with automobiles (and perhaps your health). Repairing minor damage early on is always cheaper than dealing with major damage, or even having to purchase a replacement. As an added benefit, a good tune-up can increase the fuel efficiency of your car by 4%. Regular maintenance also ensures that your vehicle lasts longer, guaranteeing that you get the most out of your car.
Don’t forget that you can always check your tire pressure and change your motor oil yourself –easy ways to maintain your vehicle without having to go into the dealership. As always, be sure to check for the manufacturer recommendations on how much to inflate your tires, and when to change your oil.
One of the most common reasons for reluctance is going to the dealership expecting a regular checkup, and leaving an arm and a leg lighter. But while things like a leaky pipe should get fixed, minor problems like this do not have to be fixed immediately. It’s better to be aware of these smaller issues and get them repaired at a more convenient time than it is to be surprised by them in the future. Of course sooner is always better, but if time or money is a concern, rest easy knowing you are at least aware of the issue.