Our service trucks and vans work hard. They could be considered our most important tool.
We depend on them as transportation to work, as our sales vehicle, our mobile office, storage unit, lunch room, equipment hauler, and maybe for the odd weekend getaway to the woods.
Maintenance is important to keep the wheels turning safely and efficiently. With that in mind, I wanted to pass along a simple but effective tip that I learned last year from an experience shop mechanic...
He suggested following the maintenance schedule found in your Owner's Manual. Turns out the dealer recommended service schedule is different than the manufacturer's.
This saved me some money lately. One vehicle just rolled over 100,000 km and it was strongly suggested by the dealer that it was time for a new timing belt. Owner's manual says it is good until 132,000 km. So I could put that expense off for another year or two. Over the life of the vehicle it might mean one less timing belt change. On another vehicle, approaching 90,000 km, I was told it was time to change the transmission fluid. Owner's manual says I'm good until 160,000 km. My dealer recommends oil changes every 5,000 km, whereas my manual says to change the oil every 10,000 km.
Those are just a few examples.
We want to take good care of the engines that drive our business, but following your dealer's maintenance schedule may do more for their profit margin than ours. Avoiding costly repairs and down time may be best avoided by following the manufacturer's recommended maintenance.