Why is it important to keep a detailed vehicle maintenance log?
The value of a vehicle maintenance log should never be underestimated. Even though upon the purchase of a new, shiny car, this might be the last thing on your mind, ignoring its importance might cost you a lot more than you think and not just saved time to keep track of your car’s interventions.
Starting with the basics, keeping track of all revisions, oil changes and saving all the original receipts will not only help your mechanic know your car’s history, but when you decide to sell it, it will also prove its value by adding an extra layer of trust in the sales relationship you build with the prospective new owner. This way, a vehicle maintenance record helps you not only to be organized but also to increase the resale value of your car.
Proper planning and scheduling
Creating a proper vehicle maintenance log for your car right from when you purchase it will help you prepare in advance periodical checks and maintenance operations, such as:
- Oil change
- Tire rotation
- Hoses and belt check-ups
- Air filter replacements
Most of us have hectic schedules and we often postpone things if they are not urgent. But no matter which type of vehicle maintenance record you choose, keeping track of your mileage and syncing the information with whatever calendar you have on your smartphone will help you schedule your car maintenance appointments on time and will help you save your time, not waste.
Prevents expensive repairs
Most engine failures come from not changing the oil on time or using an improper type of oil for your car. Even though these details can be found in your owner’s manual, having the most important details about your car at the beginning of your vehicle maintenance log can help you avoid simple and common mistakes, like using the wrong type of oil. Imagine the cost of cleaning your entire engine.
Helps create specialized maintenance programs
Your vehicle maintenance record can also help you build a strong relationship with your car mechanic. Keeping track of the repairs and checks that have been done to your car in one specific auto repair shop and then presenting the log each time you have to repair something new might lead to loyalty discounts.
Record track of all car operations
In order for a car maintenance log to provide useful information and truly show its value, it should include the following:
- Basic car information (tire size, filter type, oil type, etc.)
- Maintenance and repair receipts (the originals as well as electronic copies)
- Systematic/periodic maintenance programs
- Roadside inspections
The last one is especially important because if after a roadside inspection the inspector determines that your car needs repairs, your log will help you prove that you have made them in due time and have taken care of your car properly.
Prevents warranty claims issues and imposes accountability
When your car is still under warranty, you want to make sure that you take care of it the best you can. Because there have been cases that people lose their car warranty due to the fact that the dealer proves that you have not taken care of your car according to the owner’s manual instruction.
For example, a slugged motor which might need to be cleaned or even changed completely because the wrong type of oil was used on an oil change can lead to you paying for that.
Here is where a vehicle maintenance record comes most handy:
- If you have been careful to choose car dealer or brand-authorized workshops, should something be repaired incorrectly, the receipts and all the repairs tracked in your vehicle maintenance log will help you demonstrate that operator authorized by them have made the mistake, thus exonerating you of all fault?
- If a workshop where you made some type of emergency repairs guaranteed you that they are authorized to perform the repair, but sometime later the same thing needs to be repaired and the warranty claim for this repair is denied, you can ask the workshop that made the initial repair to pay for it or redo it
Increase resale value
Buying a used car from a private owner or from a dealership is almost always a hard decision that you have to make without knowing all the facts. You can never be sure what that car has been through. If the previous owner has taken good care of it. And if you will be able to use it for the next 5 years without any unexpected surprises.
Therefore when trying to sell your car you should remember, first of all, what it is like to be the buyer. Put yourself in their shoes. If it’s just another person, giving them the full history of the car will help them make a sounder decision, as well as keep the car running smoothly for many more years. While if you have decided to take it back to your dealership, and the price they offer is much lower than you expected, you can present the vehicle maintenance log of your car to the dealership and maybe they will reconsider the price. Because a car with a detailed maintenance log not only helps them increase their reputation, but it also helps them raise the price of the car as well. Since a potential buyer will always be more attracted to a car that they know the history of.
So every time you are busy keeping your car clean and shiny, remember to keep its history clean as well. Take the time to keep track of any change you do to your car and any repairs that have been done, and you will see, in the long run, that this small time investment will prove more valuable than expected.