What is factory scheduled maintenance?

scheduled maintenance light

Upkeep on your vehicle

A new vehicle isn’t cheap these days, even the bottom line of all makes is going to cost you upwards of $5,000. However, one thing they all come within different levels is a factory vehicle warranty and factory vehicle maintenance. The factory vehicle warranty is what comes from the vehicle manufacturer providing you their guarantee that if anything breaks or goes out within a certain time, the dealership will repair or replace it at no charge to you. 

What is the basic maintenance of a vehicle?

The basic factory maintenance can vary from manufacturers to manufacturer, but the overall goal is to keep the vehicle you purchased in top condition. This is done by checking the important components and systems of the vehicle so that it is operating at an optimum level safely. The first scheduled factory vehicle maintenance is usually between 7,500 miles and 10,000 miles. Some manufacturers will suggest the first factory vehicle maintenance at 100,000 miles.  The mileage will vary between manufacturers and the model of the vehicle. 

After the first factory vehicle maintenance, How often should vehicle maintenance be done? Depending on the make and model, the frequency is typically measured by the mileage and can vary on the make and model of the vehicle. The mileage could be anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000 miles, with a few car manufacturers stating 100,000 miles. Other vehicle manufacturers recommend every 6 months. 

What is the basic maintenance of a vehicle?

During a factory vehicle maintenance appointment, the technician will have a factory vehicle maintenance checklist to assure they check the important things such as: 

  • Lights – headlights, brake, and taillights, turn indicator lights
  • Steering
  • Brakes
  • Tires

These are things that provide safety for you, your passengers, and others while driving the vehicle. Some factory  vehicle maintenance appointments will include the following on their checklist:  

  • Coolant Level
  • Oil Level and Oil Filter
  • Air Filter
  • Cabin Filter
  • Tire Pressure

Most vehicle dealerships will include a free car wash and vacuum of the vehicle and offer an upgrade at your expense for an interior detail and exterior wax while you’re there for your factory vehicle maintenance appointment.  They may also offer or recommend that you follow up soon with tire rotation and other vehicle maintenance matters not covered under the factory vehicle maintenance plan. 

Should I take my car to the dealer for scheduled maintenance?

When you purchase a new car, depending on the make and model, there can be several bells and whistles included in the purchase, like factory vehicle maintenance. Do you need to return to the dealership for your factory maintenance and repair though? What if they aren’t close by and you can’t find a time that is convenient? 

In short, no, it isn’t a law to return to the original dealership for your basic factory vehicle maintenance. The regular maintenance you do for any car, new or old, like oil change and tire rotation, can be done at your local mechanic’s shop. You don’t even have to return to that specific dealership for warranty work. 

Yes a vehicle manufacturer’s sponsored dealership is supposed to honor a vehicle warranty irrespective of where the factory vehicle maintenance is completed. However, yes, there is a however to this question. Like anything else, the dealership can find a reason to void that warranty and not acknowledge the factory vehicle maintenance or warranty work was done correctly or by the recommended schedule. 

This becomes a matter of you said – they said and if they don’t have documentation within their files, it doesn’t exist. You can combat this by keeping every receipt of every type of work you have done on your vehicle. Such going to your regular mechanic for an oil change, fluid flush, tire rotation, or other basic maintenance while your vehicle is still under warranty. With your receipts in hand, should the dealership or the sponsoring vehicle manufacturer deny any type of warranty with a service issue, you have proof it was done according to the manufacturer’s factory vehicle maintenance recommendations and requirements.

This includes any warranty work. For example, you’re traveling out of state when your vehicle has a warranty issue. Getting the vehicle back to the original dealership may not be possible, so get your car to a dealership for that model is recommended. Or to a certified mechanic for that make of vehicle. Any receipt for warranty or basic factory vehicle maintenance work should have the vehicle details stated, the date of the work, and detailed description of what was done by the mechanic.

engine being checked

Should I do my own car maintenance?

Again, this is your vehicle and by law, a dealership or manufacturer cannot tell you not to do your own recommended factory vehicle maintenance, and in most cases, especially if you have experience in working on vehicles, you’ll be okay. This is especially true for things like the  brake fluid, oil, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, coolant, tire rotation, etc. 

Then there is the “however” factor again. By doing this work yourself, no matter how meticulous you may be with the work and the materials used, you won’t be using the factory maintenance tools nor will you have any proof of the work done like a detailed receipt. You may have a receipt for the purchase of the oil and other products used, but not that the work was done.  Taking your car to a manufacturer’s approved and the sponsored dealership is always the better option. 

Vehicles today can come with an awesome warranty level. Gone are the days of the basic 10,000 mile warranty, vehicle manufacturers now offer 50,000 to 100,000 mile warranty. Some are extensive warranty, others are basic. 

Still, cars do wear out over time with things breaking down. If you keep your car that long, what should you replace at 100k miles? You should have been doing the following all along, not waiting for the 100,000 mile mark: 

  • Oil and filter change
  • Coolant and transmission flush
  • Checking brake and power steering fluid.

At the 100,000 mile mark, have your mechanic check the following and replace as needed, if they haven’t been already within the last 10,000 miles: 

  • Timing belt
  • Water pump 
  • Brakes and rotors 
  • Tire tread, air pressure, rotate if needed
  • Wheel alignment 

Your vehicle may not be as big of investment at your home, but it is an investment. The better you take care of it, the longer it will last you. Call 847-895-9131 today for your scheduled maintenance in Schaumburg, IL.