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

It amazes me how often they do not suffer any consequences because of it.

My entire wife’s family does not follow any real maintenance plan except frequent oil changes. With relatively few issues they make it into 200k-250k range before a catastrophic failure occurs but don’t care as they want to move on anyway.

IMHO: FWIW, The manual is the bible for your car. the DEALER (read dealer service writer) is NOT the authoritative be all, end all for looking out for YOUR (or your car) best interest. The service writer is looking out for the dealerships ‘bottom line,’ not yours.

When you go to a dealer for service, they give you a write up sheet that they want you to sign to ‘authorize’ the work they recommend. See how they get off the hook? they advise you what to do to the car (needed or not) and when you sign it, you have taken responsibility for having the work (whether needed, or just dealer profit) done and you pay the bill.

You CAN (and should) actually read each item. You will notice they are separated into separate topics. The heading for each topic will have one of two words in it: required, or recommended. That is your cue to decipher what is ‘needed’ versus what they recommend.

also, the required items will (by coincidence) be the ones in your manual, considering your vehicles age, mileage, and what has been done before. The recommended items will be pure profit for the dealership.

Im not saying that anything the dealer ‘recommends’ will be unnecessary, but by and large they foist a bunch of useless crap on you to pad the bill.

The cure? Find a good, reputable, (with recommendations) mechanic to work on your car. you will soon learn to TRUST your mechanic. Once you have found a reputable guy stick with him. they are like gold! You DON’T have to go to a dealership for routine repairs that are NOT under warranty. EVER!

And that is the main reason I came to this site, to see if I could find a good, reputable mechanic because right now I have been taking the car to a local Tires Plus store for oil changes. I don’t have a problem with paying for the upkeep and maint. on the car I just don’t want to wind up paying hundreds of dollars for something that I really don’t need.

Please list some examples of “questionable” work that “tires Plus” (we try not to list shops by name when the OP questions the honesty of the firm) is wanting you to buy.

I never said that they wanted me to pay for anything, really the only thing they recommended was getting new tires so I took the car to another shop and they said that I still had a good 3-6 months left on the tires depending on how much I drove. I am just looking to get my car the maintenance that it needs and so far I have neglected to do. I just don’t have a mechanic that I can TRUST right now. However, I did look over the mechanic files on this site and I will be stopping by a couple of places to check them out and hopefully find a place where I feel comfortable taking the car too.

tires wear out? I did not know that… D:


I’ve never had that issue with my Honda dealership. They pull out a work order, write O/C on it, slide it my way and I’d sign it. Never had any “authorize us to do our recommended stuff” kinds of papers to sign. If they found something wrong, they’d always ask me before they proceeded.

P.S. You know when tires are worn out because the little wire thingys stick out from the rubber, alerting you to the fact that pretty soon you will need new tires!

Thank you Ken, for stating the obvious. If people were still riding horses, they would all be dead by now.{The horses} Dealerships follow the factory maintenance schedule.Its their obligation.

Independent studies have proved that following the maintenance schedule actually saves money in the long run.