Understanding Automotive Maintenance

March 30, 2017

In today’s automotive industry, there are competing priorities between the manufacturer, the dealer, and the owner of the vehicle. When it comes to automotive maintenance, it’s in the best interest of car owners to understand the changing automotive maintenance world and decide for themselves how they want to handle the maintenance of their vehicle.

Annapolis Vehicle Maintenance Educator

FREE or Prepaid Maintenance Programs

When you go to purchase a new vehicle, you’ll probably be offered 2 years of FREE maintenance or a prepaid maintenance program. It sounds amazing, and the cost is fairly reasonable or FREE — at least that’s what most people tell themselves. The truth of the matter is these prepaid maintenance programs are designed to keep costs low, and not designed with the long term health of the vehicle in mind. The plan is to get your vehicle through the prepaid maintenance and warranty period with as minimal costs to the dealership; possibly sacrificing the long-term health of your vehicle.

Are Prepaid Maintenance Programs worth the Cost?

Usually, the answer is no. Prepaid maintenance programs typically cover the minimum routine maintenance schedule as set down by the manufacturer of the vehicle. They are also usually 3 years or 36,000 miles and don’t cover “wear” items. So what does this boil down to? About 4 oil and filter services, two tire rotations, and one mechanical check. If you broke this down, these services would cost you somewhere around $400-500 at your local Annapolis auto mechanic. Not to mention, the prepaid maintenance program only has you visiting the minimal amount of times, however your vehicle should probably be seen more frequently.

How Often Should you do Vehicle Maintenance?

So now that we’ve established these prepaid programs aren’t the best idea, what maintenance schedule should you follow? With regards to the most basic oil & filter service, you should perform 3-4 oil changes a year or an oil change every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Tire rotation services are best done every other oil change. If you follow the manufacturer’s or dealership’s maintenance schedule, you’re probably going to stretch those visits out and this could lead to major engine issues. Believe it or not, engine replacements are up 40% in the industry simply because of the lengthening of the recommended service visit schedule.

Use an Experienced Annapolis Auto Mechanic

If you’re curious about what your vehicle’s best automotive maintenance schedule is, consult with a local Annapolis auto mechanic. An experienced Annapolis auto mechanic will have the industry experience to know when your vehicle needs service and how frequently you should return. An auto mechanic, unlike a dealership or manufacturer isn’t in the business of selling you new vehicles; they’re here to help you keep your current vehicle on the road for 100, 200, 300, or even 400,000 miles.

At Choisser Import Auto Services, we specialize in the service and repair of Honda, Acura, Toyota, and Lexus vehicles. If you’re planning on going with a prepaid maintenance program, be wary as you consider the long term effects. Instead, bring your vehicle into our experienced Annapolis mechanics and let us develop a more comprehensive regular maintenance program on your vehicle for a fraction of the cost of a vehicle replacement. To schedule an appointment, give Choisser a call at 410-867-2122 or fill out the form on our website, today!

What Our Customers Say..

"Robert (Rob) Choisser has been servicing my 1998 Honda CRV for nearly 3 years. I have never had better, more honest service done on any of my cars. Rob is extremely thorough in his work and more than fair in his pricing, I would recommend his work to anyone in my family and to my friends. He is a real credit to his profession, his family and friends."

- Gary, Owings, MD

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Anne Arundel County Auto Repair: Annapolis (21401, 21403, 21409), Arnold (21012), Crofton (21114), Crownsville (21032), Gambrills (21054), Glen Burnie (21060, 21061), Hanover (21076), Jessup (20794), Pasadena (21122), Severn (21144), Severna Park (21146).

Baltimore County Auto Repair: Arbutus (21227), Catonsville (21228, 21250), Cockeysville (21030, 21031, 21065), Dundalk (21222), Edgemere (21219), Essex (21221), Garrison (21055), Lansdowne (21227), Lochearn (21207), Lutherville (21093), Middle River (21220), Milford Mill (21244), Overlea (21236), Owings Mills (21117), Parkville (21234), Park Heights (21215), Pikesville (21208), Randallstown (21133), Reisterstown (21136), Rosedale (21237), Timonium (21093), Towson (21204), White Marsh (21162), Woodlawn (21207), and more.

Calvert County Auto Repair: Dunkirk (20754), Chesapeake Beach (20732), North Beach (20714), Prince Frederick (20678), Owings (20736), Solomons (20688).

Howard County Auto Repair: Clarksville (21029), Columbia (21044), Cooksville (21723), Dorsey (21075), Elkridge (21075), Ellicott City (21043), Fulton (20759), Glenelg (21737), Glenwood (21738), Granite (21163), Hanover (21076), Highland (20777), Jessup (20794), Lisbon (21765), Marriottsville (21104), North Laurel (20723), West Friendship (21794), Woodbine (21797), Woodstock (21163), and more.

Montgomery County Auto Repair: Olney (20832), Damascus (20872), Laytonsville (20882), Silver Spring (20910), Clarksburg (20871), Gaithersburg (20878), Germantown (20876), Bethesda (20816), Chevy Chase (20815), and more.

Prince George's County Auto Repair: Bowie (20715, 20716, 20720, 20721), Beltsville (20705), Adelphi (20783), College Park (20740,20742), Greenbelt (25689), Hyattsville (20781, 20782, 20783, 20784), Landover (20785), Laurel (20707, 20723), Springdale (20774), Upper Marlboro (20772, 20774), Woodlawn (21207).

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