Car Dealers and Manufacturers
Car dealers and manufacturers do not want you to know this!!!!
It’s not uncommon for me to hear a customer say they have to go to the dealer for maintenance until
their vehicle warranty elapses. When I ask them why they think that, they say the dealer told me it
would void their warranty if they went anywhere else. The truth is that you do not have to go back to
the dealer and you will not void your warranty as long as the maintenance performed meets or exceeds the manufacturer’s recommendations. In fact according to the Magnuson-Moss Act of 1975, if a manufacturer of any product requires you to use their parts or service to maintain your warranty then they have to provide that maintenance for free.
The automotive industry has radically changed in the past 30 years. One thing is vehicles are much more reliable than ever before. The other is Americans are driving a lot more than 30 years ago.
Consequently the average person desires to keep their vehicle longer. Not good news for the
manufacturers and new car dealers. Consequently we have seen manufacturer recommended service intervals being stretched longer and longer. This is not a problem if you plan to replace your vehicle every 100,000 miles or sooner. Most people would prefer to be car payment free and still have a safe and reliable vehicle for as long as possible.
Good news!!!!! It is very possible to have a vehicle last long past 200,000 miles trouble free as long as you modify a few service intervals in the manufacturer recommended service schedule. Remember they sell cars so shortening some of the intervals is smart and not a waste of money.
First interval that we recommend modifying is the standard oil service. Consider having this service
performed every 5000 miles and using a high quality additive package like BG MOA to keep the internal working of the engine from oxidizing and sludging. Each time the vehicle is serviced a comprehensive visual inspection should be performed by a qualified service technician to identify other service recommendations as well as safety items that may have developed.
Second would be other major fluids like engine coolant, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake
fluid, differential fluids and transfer case fluid. Often manufacturers will say that these fluids are
extended life fluids and can go 100,000 miles or more. Remember they sell cars. We have found that
these fluids really need to be serviced every 30,000 miles on the average vehicle. By doing so, many
common repair problems can be avoided and the life of the affected components can be extended
The last service we recommend rarely shows up on a recommended service schedule and is called a fuel induction service. When we burn fossil fuels, we create carbon deposits throughout the internal parts of the engine. Carbon deposits can rob engine performance and fuel economy as well as cause some moving parts in the air intake system to fail. This can result in expensive repairs. A quality fuel induction service like BG can help dramatically. It’s recommended to be performed every 15,000 miles.
Hope this information helps you to understand your rights as a consumer.
Jeff Bain, AAM
ASE Master Certified Technician