Manufacturer Recommended Maintenance - Should I do it?

Today I received a letter from the local Subaru dealer asking me to take my 2006 Impreza (less than 10K miles) for “26 Month Maintenance” with $5 off coupon (regular price 29.95).

If I don’t have anything wrong with the car, should I still do it? If I neglected this, will have any effect on the warranty?

Maintenance on vehicles is always important regardless of make, and avoiding it usually brings with it later expensive repairs. However, to ensure that maintenance is really needed you should always check in your owners manual and confirm specific maintenance. Some dealers like to suggest their own maintenance plan that isn’t actually called for by the manufacturer.

As long as what they recommend is consistent with the factory owner’s manual, by all means do it, you’ll need to if you want the warranty to apply. Just make sure it’s in the manual, some dealers (I know of a Honda dealer) have their own schedule which they try to foist on their unsuspecting customers - grrrrrr…

Do not trust the dealer. Follow only the schedule from the manufacturer, which is in your owner’s manual. Neither heeding nor ignoring the letter has any effect whatsoever on your warranty.

The dealer is just trying to drum up extra business. Most of what the mechanic will do is “inspect,” and you can be certain he will suggest additional recommended work. You will be fortunate to escape the shop with only $200 in additional maintenance and service.

Your subject says “manufacturer” and your text says “dealer”. You need to understand that these are not the same thing. The manufacturer provides the warranty and the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual that you need to follow for the warranty to apply. It would be nice if dealers didn’t contradict the manufacturer, but it does happen, far too often.


The letter says “dealer recommended maintenance” - “26 months Maintenance”.

Subaru’s “Record of inspection and maintenance services” log provies space for follwoing records:

7500 miles/7.5 months
15000 miles/15 months
22500 miles/22.5 months
30000 miles/30 months … and so on.

Mine is some 9500 miles/25 months. I did the last “recommended service” in last April (cost me almost $50). I think Subaru’s “maintenance shedule” is little too frequent (?). They have a “recommended maintenance” almost every 6 months.

To keep your warranty in force, you have to have the services as specified, every 7.5 months (I’d round up to 8). So by now you should have just had your third service. If you don’t, they don’t have to honor the warranty.

Do you honestly find having to spend $50 periodically for maintenance expensive? That’s so little money it’s incredible. Heck if you go buy 5 quarts of oil and a filter yourself at a store that’s almost $25 right there.

If you want your car to maintain a healthy warranty and stay in tip-top condition for years to come follow the maintenance in the book exactly. Every 7.5 months is about right to change that oil of yours.

The 26 month Maintenance is a fancy name for a meager oil change given that price.

The $50 maintenance was likely a tire rotation & oil change and is very cheap for ANY dealer.

One thing to really look at is if you are severe schedule (oil change 3750miles) vs normal(7500 miles for oil). A smaller group fall into the normal schedule.

If you have only accumulated 9500 miles in 25 months, then you should definitely be following the Severe Service or Extreme Service maintenance schedule that calls for the vehicle to be serviced at least every 7.5 months, regardless of the odometer mileage. If you have not been doing this, you may already have voided the warranty.

Feel free to ignore the dealership’s maintenance schedule, but you are on very shaky ground if you ignore the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule that is sitting in your glove compartment. Even if you don’t have a warranty-based claim, your will definitely last longer and be more reliable if you maintain it at least as often as the manufacturer specifies in the Severe Service or Extreme Service guidelines.

Two points to consider:

*No car ever suffered from being maintained more often than the manufacturer specifies.
*$50. is a very reasonable price for an oil and filter change, combined with a tire rotation.

OK, OK, I sheduled the service for this Friday. Thanks for all the comments!!

I wasn’t paying attention to the service records of my vehicle. I have changed oil last month (yes, this sounds like I have short-term memory loss, but that’s what happened). So, I called the dealer this morning and asked if it was essential for me to bring the vehicle for this recommended service to maintain my warranty. They said “NO” (and I could do it along with the next oil change). I specifically asked about the warranty and they assured me that nothing will happen to warranty as long as I changed oil at recommended intervals (and rotated wheels at every other oil change).

So, I am going to get the recommended service done with the next oil change.

6 months is perfectly reasonable for an oil change. Cars require maintence. Even new ones.