SCHEDULES: IGNORE OR FOLLOW?
To find out your car’s maintenance needs, start with the official manufacturer’s advice, contained within the owner’s pack. Be aware that certain operations, notably engine oil changes, may have been set to reduce fleet managers’ costs. For example, many diesel passenger vehicle service intervals are officially recommended at 20,000 miles, or two years, whereas an annual 10,000-mile service can increase the longevity of a vehicle, as well as identify any potential problems before they escalate into either an expensive repair, a breakdown, or a safety issue.
For peace of mind, we recommend halving the official manufacturer service schedule, where possible. Most maintenance tasks are really careful checks that, if any issues are dealt with early enough, might save you money. Extending a service interval is false economy. A clogged air filter (pictured) will increase fuel consumption, for example.
Consider also investing in a workshop manual. Haynes Publishing produces an authoritative range of manuals, covering many popular makes and models, or else there may be a downloadable version at emanualonline.com.
Some people prefer to consult their ipads, although exercise caution over 'How To' videos, posted on platforms such as Youtube, unless you can verify the competence of the on-screen presenter. For this reason, Haynes launched its Ondemand service of instructional videos, many of which are available free of charge.
Search also online for owners’ clubs, whose members can offer invaluable practical advice on technical matters and answer specific queries.