I have 4 cars and 2 motorcycles to maintain. Does anybody know of a good website that will help me keep track of the maintenance schedule on all these?
There may indeed be a website for this purpose, but this issue is something that really does not require a high-tech approach. Each time I buy a new car, I construct a chart that I can update each time that the car is serviced. This way, without going through multiple service invoices, I can see on one sheet of paper when the tires were last rotated, when the oil was last changed, when the coolant was last replaced, etc.
Along the left side of the page, I list the mfr’s recommended maintenance procedures, in the same order that they are listed in the car’s manual. Across the top, I leave spaces to indicate the date and odometer mileage of each service. Simply placing an “X” in the appropriate space where the two axes meet indicates what services were performed on that date and at that odometer mileage.
It takes me all of 20 minutes or so to construct the chart initially. Then, I simply spend about 2 minutes (or less) updating the chart each time the car is serviced.
While this approach is decidedly not technological in nature, it serves the purpose and my paper chart can be accessed in a fraction of the time that it would take you to access service records that you stored online. Think about it!
Acura has an owner’s link web site and GM/Onstar has a site and also tracks your maintenance. I only use them to verify my service records. What I have used for years is just a loose leaf notebook with a section for each car, and also a sections for lawnmower, snow blower, house, yard, etc. I just record the date, mileage, and any relevant other information. If there is anything I want to note to myself in the future, I use a post it TM note. Really everything is in one place and if I want to know when the living room was painted and what the paint code was, it’s right there.
Create an Excel spreadsheet for each vehicle. If that’s too high tech for you, go out and buy six cheap notebooks. File them with the owner’s manuals and shop manuals. Whenever you get maintenance, log it, and file the receipts.
Skip excel and use Google Docs to create a spreadsheet for something you will never loose.
I have 20 or so stickers running down the side of my windshield…
I’d suggest something more “hard copy” than a website. If not exclusively, then at least as a backup. Websites do funny things all the time!
I have a small cheap notebook for each vechicle and write everything done to it with the date and mileage. Much less time consuming than creating records online.
I have a similar situation and use an old copy of Lotus that I bought at a flea market. If I did not have that, I agree that you can find a suitable spreadsheet on Google Docs. For each vehicle I simply log the date, mileage and maintenance item done in cells with length adjusted as needed. For me, that has been adequate.
When any one of my three spreadsheets has been updated, I make a printout to hang up with a thumbtack in our garage.
At first you can combine two vehicles per spreadsheet but when a record gets long, it may be better to separate them out.
Yes, you can use notebooks but this is 2011; got to use the latest and greatest. If I am 100 miles from home in car A and happen to wonder when I last rotated the tires on car B, online is the solution.
If you don’t have Microsoft Excel, you can download Open Office at http://www.openoffice.org/ . It is a free open source office suite that is pretty much as good as MS Office.
When I wanted to learn how to create a iphone app…this was my first app.
I wrote a little iphone app to keep track of gas mileage…then I added to keep track when I do an oil change…just recently added feature to keep track of any parts I buy. Maintenance is next on the list.
I did it more of an exercise to teach myself Microsoft Silverlight and how to write an Iphone app.
I Have Many Vehicles To Maintain, Also . . . 7 Cars (3 drivers), Motorcycle, Tractor, Lawn Mower, Lawn Tractor, Sea-Doo, Several Boats (live on lake), Leaf Vacuum/Chipper, Etcetera.
" I have a small cheap notebook for each vechicle and write everything done to it with the date and mileage. Much less time consuming than creating records online. "
That’s what I do, too. Each car has its own “Log Book” in the glove compartment.
Other machines have data on maintenance sheets in my house. Some maintenance is done seasonally and some done by mileage.
I run our cars on Mobil-1 Extended Performance and change all oil at 5,000 mile intervals. I need no stickers to remind me. I don’t even have to look it up in the log. When the odometer lands on even 10-thousand mile readings or halfway between (example: 40,000 or 65,000), give or take a few miles, the oil gets changed. I do the changes and stock oil by the case and plenty of filters.
My wife, 16 year-old daughter, and I drive a combined distance of close to 100,000 miles per year. I don’t rotate tires. I found it absolutely not necessary and a waste of time. I like to “read” the tires right where they live and I don’t have the time for such nonsense anyhow. I generally get around 100,000 miles on tires.
Religiously every week-end, I check underhood fluids on cold engines (I don’t even pull the dipstick all the way out) and top-off washer juice. I turn the key and look at the mileage to see when oil change is due.
The log book is a good resource to see how old a battery is or when brakes were last done, etcetera. It’s a piece of cake.
I use Cargly.com. They have a website and mobile apps. I like it because it lets my wife and I share access to all our cars.
Check out motortab.com - its free for two cars…and I think a small fee for more than that. I have an accout there and I like it so far!
Keeping track of maintenance in a notebook or excel spreadsheet works great for past service. If you’re looking to be a bit more proactive then you should look into something like carbot:
You can track all of your vehicle’s maintenance and be alerted to upcoming service. It works well for the do it yourself guy.
Analog Man Living In A Digital World, Here . . .
I run 7 cars that are driven lots of miles and every car has a paper maintainence/repair log in the glove compartment. All Cars have a service/parts file in a filing cabinet in the house and every car has a set of paper factory service manuals and extra copy of paper OMs in the house, too.
Every car uses the odometer to alert each family driver of an upcoming oil change (which I perform) because all cars get changes at even 5,000 mile odometer readings. No need to look it up online or otherwise.
I never rotate tires unless I’m buying 2 or 4, but check the fleet’s tire pressures regularly and inspect the tires for alignment and wear. I’ve done this successfully for many decades.
I try and keep things consistant and simple and basic. That’s how I roll.
www.SERFAX.com is an excellent FREE online vehicle service log. You can have up to 100 vehicles per user account which makes it great for vehicle fleet maintenance. It also has a powerful search engine for searching through your service records which is really useful if you are interested in services or parts that have life time warranties.