How important is it to stick to the recommended maintenance schedule?

dodge
magnum

#1

I have an 05 dodge magnum that just hit 70,000 miles(bought it with 30,000) and so far all I’ve done is regular oil changes and fluid checks. Should I start going by the manual and doing all of the recommended maint. on this car?


#2

If you want the car to last, yes, you should start following the factory maintenance schedule.

Proper auto maintenance requires more than just oil changes and fluid checks.

Please note, I said follow the “factory” maintenance schedule. That’s probably going to differ from the “dealer recommended” maintenance schedule, or a schedule recommended by someone else.

The schedule that came with the owner’s manual is the one to follow.


#3

How important is it?

VERY.

At least you’ve changed the oil, but if all you’ve done is check the other fluids, you are overdue to WAY overdue for changing the transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, coolant…


#4

The quick & dirty answer is:

If you intend to dump this vehicle on somebody else within the next year or so, then you can continue to ignore the factory maintenance schedule. Although you would be incurring very bad karma by doing so, the mechanical problems that would begin to manifest themselves around 90k would be someone else’s problem, rather than yours.

On the other hand, if you intend to keep this car, then you really need to get on schedule with maintenance.
I strongly suggest that you have everything listed for the 60k service done soon. Even if the 60k service does not list them, you should be sure to include items like changing the trans fluid, coolant, and brake fluid.

You likely have already done some damage to your transmission by not changing the fluid every 30k miles, but at least if you get on schedule with maintenance you may be able to limit some of the damage that has already been done.

Good luck!


#5

I actually just made the last payment on this car last month and I intend on keeping it for at least 3yrs. So I am going to get the oil changed next week and I will go ahead and tell them to change trans. fluid also. I will also look at the manual and see what exactly I have to get done. Thanks for all your replies I really don’t know a whole lot about cars and really appreciate the feedback.


#6

You likely have already done some damage to your transmission by not changing the fluid every 30k miles, but at least if you get on schedule with maintenance you may be able to limit some of the damage that has already been done.

Not all cars call for a change of the transmission fluid. I is my opinion and the opinion of many of the regulars here, that failure to change it at 20-40,000 miles is foolish and can be very costly.

Don’t fall for the argument that someone had there transmission fluid changed (note: changed, not flushed) only to have the transmission fail shortly after. That is almost always means they did not change it when they should have and the only reason they finally decided to change it was because it was already showing indications of damage. They changed it too late. Don’t be one of those.


#7

I’m Not Sure Where You’ll Have It Serviced, But Be Absolutely Certain That The Type Of The Transmission Fluid Matches With That Specified By The Manufacturer.

Not all fluids are created equal. Use of some “universal” or wrong fluid can be worse than not changing it at all, especially in some Chrysler transmissions. Double check using your Owner’s Manual.

CSA


#8

How important is it to stick to the recommemded mantainance schedule ;

from your doctor ?

from you dentist ?

for your furnace ?

for your house ?

for the airplane you ride in ?

This lax attitude toward cars ( complex machinery and usually your second biggest purchase ) just amazes me.


#9

Ken

Like you, I don’t think that I will ever figure this out either.
For some reason, a huge percentage of the population seems to think that car maintenance consists of simply changing the oil regularly. Yes, oil changes are vital, but that procedure is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. And, we all know what the less-obvious parts of that iceberg did to the Titanic.


#10

The phrase “regular oil changes” has not been defined either. Some people consider once a year or 10k miles regular.

Plus, there’s always the unknown of a used car. If this one was a 30k miles lease return there’s always the possibility that the oil may have never been changed or very sparingly.

Best thing to do at this point is start from scratch and catch it all up.


#11

The manufacturer didn’t print those maintenance instructions for their amusement. They’re needed to keep the car running properly and to prevent expensive repairs in the future.


#12

There are people involved in every aspect of vehicle maintiance,design, manufacturing that will tell you that oil changes should still be done every 3000 miles with service level not being an issue. Myself I fell there are some very common parameters that make oil changes every 300o wasteful.


#13

With some makes of vehicles, maintenance schedules can contain a lot of fluff. You can use your own B.S. filter to move around that and just focus on the important stuff. And yes, now would be a good time to service the transmission whether the schedule calls for it or not…

A good lube technician can eyeball most of the “check this, inspect that” stuff while he is waiting for the oil to drain out…


#14

Please elaborate on the fluff, because I disagree with that completely. No automaker is going to recommend a service item that is useless.

And you mention a “good” lube technician. That’s the problem - 95% of people who don’t think it’s important to maintain their cars take them to crap places like Jiffy Lube for oil changes. And I can almost guarantee that Jiffy Lube does not employ “good” lube technicians.


#15

I’ll just throw in that some mfr’s low-ball the maintenance intervals.

Ex: My Accord maintenance schedule says to change the oil every 7.5k and the transmission fluid every 90k (“Normal” table).

I’d like to keep this car until 250, 300k miles so of course that work will be done more often.

Oil / transmission fluid changes are cheap compared to the total cost of having a car and it doesn’t hurt to do them more frequently than just the mins. in the owner’s manual.


#16

While I too am a believer in following a manufacturer’s recommended maintenance, there are many car owners out there who consciously choose to keep cars for about 100K miles, and perform very little maintenance. It amazes me how often they do not suffer any consequences because of it.

I would not want to buy their cars when they sell them, but I also respect their right to treat their cars as they wish.


#17

For some reason, a huge percentage of the population seems to think that car maintenance consists of simply changing the oil regularly.

I think a huge percentage of the population thinks car maintenance consists of filling the gas tank and buying new tires when the old ones wear out.


#18

While I too am a believer in following a manufacturer’s recommended maintenance, there are many car owners out there who consciously choose to keep cars for about 100K miles, and perform very little maintenance. It amazes me how often they do not suffer any consequences because of it.

They may not…but the next car owner probably will.

I worked with a guy that leased a new car every 2 years…NEVER DID ANY MAINTENANCE…Not even one oil change. His attitude was…why should he since he’s only keeping it for 2 years. After 2 years with about 40k miles on it I’m sure there was significant damage to the engine. A couple of his cars were blowing blue smoke and he was adding a quart once a week for the last couple of months (which he hated to do).

The VAST MAJORITY (70%) of new car owners don’t keep them past 100k miles. Less then 10% past 200k miles…and less then 5% past the 300k mile mark. Granted many of the cars were in accidents…or had some kind of catastrophic mechanical failure. Then there’s a good portion of drivers who don’t put a lot of miles on their vehicles (less then 10k/year) so they trade in every 10 years or less. But there are also a good number of people who trade in their car that’s only 3-5 years old with less then 100k miles and the car is running perfectly well. I know many of them. They usually just get bored with the car.


#19

Mike,

I read or heard somewhere that something like $2 Billion worth of preventative maintenance is neglected by American car owners annually.

What are your thoughts on that?

P.S. I think that guy you worked with was one of the people who annoy the hell out of me by leaving their receipt at the gas pump, making me throw it away.


#20

I will go against the grain. If 3 years is your plan you can get away with simply changing the oil. I would add changing the transmission fluid now if never performed. Lastly the spark plugs should be changed once beyond the air filter.

Your chances of break down increase with minimal maintenance but if only three years I am willing to say you are on the decent side not to encounter problems.