Have you ever wondered what happens when you don't service your car? It can be tempting to save money by skipping some items on your vehicle manufacturer's-suggested maintenance schedule (MSMS), but they're there for a reason. If you don't schedule time for maintenance, you could be looking at some major auto repair headaches down the road.
Keep reading to learn what a manufacturer-suggested maintenance schedule is, if scheduled maintenance is necessary, and the negative effects of not servicing your car regularly.
What is Your Vehicle Manufacturer Suggested Maintenance Schedule?
Your vehicle manufacturer's suggested maintenance schedule is the ultimate list of expected maintenance needs for your car's specific make, model, and year across the lifetime of the vehicle. It covers everything from oil changes to timing belt replacement and tells you when to perform the inspections or service based on mileage.
It's important to follow your manufacturer's suggested maintenance schedule to keep your car in good working condition for as long as possible. You can find your maintenance schedule in your owner's manual or simply by using our convenient online database.
Is Scheduled Maintenance Necessary?
While you are under no obligation to follow a particular maintenance schedule, your manufacturer suggested maintenance schedule was made by the people who made your car. It’s the essential list of maintenance items for your specific car, so it's best to follow it as closely as possible.
The only time you might consider deviating from your MSMS is if you regularly use your car for demanding tasks that your manufacturer considers as operating under severe conditions. In which case, you may be better off performing some of the maintenance items more frequently than the manufacturer suggests. In short, following your MSMS is an easy way to make sure your car stays running newer, longer.
What Happens When You Don’t Service Your Car?
If you don’t schedule time for maintenance, you could be faced with a lot of unnecessary car trouble. Keeping up with scheduled maintenance is the simplest way to avoid the negative effects of not servicing your car, such as:
Higher Repair Costs
There’s a saying in the automotive world, “Engines are expensive, but oil is cheap''—meaning you can avoid some expensive engine repairs if you just keep up with regular oil changes. The same principle applies to all car care. Car owners who follow their manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedule generally save more in the long run by avoiding the expensive repairs that occur when neglecting regular servicing.
Avoiding minor repairs almost always ends up with you paying for a major headache. Skipping engine oil changes, for instance, can leave your engine at risk. Without a healthy flow of quality oil to lubricate its internal parts, your engine can become severely damaged. It’s the little things that add up to expensive repairs if left unchecked, so save yourself time and money by sticking to your manufacturer’s suggested maintenance schedule.
Poor Fuel Economy
Ignoring your car manufacturer's suggested maintenance schedule doesn’t just cost you a lot in repairs. It can also cost you at the pump. Why? Because an engine with excessively aged oil and worn spark plugs simply won’t run as efficiently as it should. Taking care of these kinds of routine maintenance items, like changing your oil, eases the burden on your engine so that it doesn’t have to burn more fuel than necessary. Fewer trips to the gas pump are just another way regular maintenance services can save you money in the long run.
Unsafe Driving Conditions
More than just costing you money, you could be avoiding your MSMS at the expense of your safety. After enough wear and tear, parts that were once reliable begin to put you at risk. Tires without sufficient tread are more prone to hydroplaning, longer stopping distances, and blowouts. Contaminated brake fluid and worn brake pads may reduce the effectiveness of your brakes. Even forgetting to change your windshield wiper blades can leave you with dangerously reduced visibility in rain.
Keeping up with timely maintenance means you’re less likely to end up stranded and also improves the safety of you, your passengers, and other drivers on the road.
Lower Resale Value
Auto repair is a necessary part of car ownership, even if you intend to sell your vehicle soon. A car that’s full of problems due to neglected maintenance may not sell for as much as it would had it been routinely serviced. Keeping everything in good working order by following your manufacturer's suggested maintenance schedule is one of the best ways to keep your vehicle’s resale value up.
Shorter Vehicle Lifespan
The bottom line is that a vehicle that doesn’t get regular servicing according to what the manufacturer suggests may not last as long as it could. The manufacturer suggested maintenance schedule exists so that you can get the most out of your car for as long as possible. With the right kind of routine car service, you could keep your vehicle cruising for well over 100,000 miles.
The Service Your Car Needs, Right When You Need It
Ready to stay on top of your manufacturer's suggested maintenance schedule? Download the My Firestone App to get up-to-date information on the car care your vehicle needs. Then, schedule an appointment and drop by your nearest service center for routine maintenance and more!