Don’s Guide to Superior Vehicle Maintenance

By: McLachlan Automotive Solutions   |   08 Dec 2016
Mechanic working under car

Maintenance is a word which describes how to take care of something to keep it functioning at its best. In this case, I will be talking about maintenance on your vehicle. Most customers that I deal with prefer to have their vehicle maintained because it saves a lot of money and headache down the road. The best part about maintenance is that it costs a lot less than repairs from breakdowns. Routine maintenance is also easy to schedule and it's affordable.

Breakdowns usually happen at the most inconvenient times and are generally very expensive. So why is it that some people don't maintain their vehicles as well as they should? In my opinion, the most common answer for most cases is because of your mechanic. As a mechanic, it's my job to make recommendations on maintenance to keep your car functioning well. After all, you bring your vehicle to me because I'm a professional and you want a professional opinion. On a side note, in my opinion, the word "professional" is used far too frequently!

Over the course of 35 years in the automotive business, I have acquired a lot of knowledge. One piece of wisdom that stands out the most is that a customer who keeps a maintained vehicle is a happy customer, and the customer who has a vehicle that's constantly breaking down is usually pissed off. I prefer happy customers.

Why Do You Need Regular Maintenance?

Most of my customers follow recommended maintenance schedules for their vehicles, which I professionally advise, in order to keep their vehicles functioning at their best for long periods of time.  The manufacturers of many of today's vehicles suggest that common vehicle fluids are a lifetime product. Seriously? What kind of BS is that? How long do they want that thing to last?

Many vehicles on today’s market are designed to travel over 400,000 kilometres and some even more. You can only achieve that life span through routine maintenance. Without it, your vehicle wouldn’t survive. Just a short time ago I acquired a new customer who had been taking his 2008 VW SUV to another shop for repairs and maintenance. He asked me to have a good look at it and see what is needed. The first thing I recommended was to change all the fluids because it had 275,000 kilometres on it and none of the driveline fluids have been changed. The front and rear differentials, the transfer case, and the transmission fluids were all black and contaminated. His last service provider never made one recommendation to change these things!

For the life of me, I will never understand why a service provider wouldn't make the recommendations to change those fluids. That's our job! Our job is to keep our customer safe and get them the best bang for their buck on their vehicle. (And just as another side note, the best bang for the buck doesn't mean putting in cheap parts! But that's a story for another day.) The body and interior of this car are in immaculate shape and being a German vehicle, it drove wonderfully. Hopefully, we were able to get the maintenance caught up on the driveline to extend the life of those components (which I think we were able to achieve). But I still have to ask why didn't his previous service provider make those recommendations.

In my observation, the main reason why automobile service providers miss making recommendations for maintenance is because of the way they're conducting their business and because they're so busy taking care of emergencies from breakdowns that they don't have time to perform maintenance.

If your service provider isn't making recommendations for maintenance then maybe it's time to look at another one before it costs you more money than it should. And I don't mean a little more money given the complexity and price of major automobile components. If you're not sure that recommendations are being made correctly for your vehicle please feel free to give me a call. Even if you aren't my customer I will be more than happy to discuss it with you and give you the best advice I can.

Tired of confusing maintenance advice? Give us a call today at 1-(855) 432-2022 or contact us online for more information. Have a service-related question? Why not Ask A Service Tech! Our technicians are experts when it comes to domestic and imported vehicles. Send us your questions and we will be in touch shortly.


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