Just a quick article about some things you ‘do-it-yourself’ guys and gals should keep in mind when doing repairs and regular maintenance on your vehicle. Now, I obviously do all the work and maintenance on my own vehicles since that is what I do for a living. Other people attempt to maintain and repair their cars or trucks, but let’s face it, some are better than others. You have to have some basic mechanical aptitude, knowledge about the vehicle, and of course a set of tools.
We get cars in all the time where someone attempted a repair, but just made matters worse by doing the job wrong or breaking things because they didn’t know how to remove them. This ends up just costing the customer more money. I’m all for people taking care of their cars and trucks, but please only attempt the job if you know what you’re doing.
A second note about doing the maintenance work yourself, even basic oil changes, please know this: KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS!!!
There is no worse feeling when you do have a major problem with your vehicle than having the dealership deny a warranty claim because you can’t prove that the vehicle has been maintained at the required intervals. Here’s the deal…..the upper brass at every single maker of cars wants your business. They want you to buy the car from them and then bring it in for every maintenance that is required on your car or truck. This does two things for them. First, it makes them money. Second, they will then have a very detailed record of how well you kept up your vehicle.
People that do all the required maintenance and repairs on their vehicle at the dealership have an upper hand on getting taken care of if a problem does arise. The dealership sees the customer’s business with them as ‘good faith’. In return, the dealership will be more inclined to help a person who may be slightly out of warranty, or have a problem that is not usually covered by the car manufacturer.
This is sort of a slap in face of the do-it-yourself guy who changes his own oil, rotates his tires, and does small repairs as they come along. You know your vehicle is well taken care of, but the dealership does not, and most times they will tell a customer like this that they are on their own if a big problem comes up. Here’s where keeping your receipts comes into play! If you do the work yourself, or have a smaller independent shop maintain your vehicle, please keep every bit of information you receive. This will provide a record of maintenance intervals, work performed, and your general ‘care’ of your vehicle. Dealerships will often ask for these receipts, let’s say if your engine goes out, just to make sure you actually did change the oil regularly. If you have an extended warranty from another company, expect the same if not more information requested to see how you have taken care of your vehicle.
Knowing all this will no doubt help anyone that comes across this situation.