For automobile owners, the terms "factory scheduled maintenance" or "30/60/90K maintenance" are widely misunderstood ideas. They basically refer to the same thing, namely, the auto maintenance schedule recommended by the car's manufacturer. It's often called "30/60/90K factory maintenance" because for most vehicles, the maintenance is scheduled every 30,000 miles.
Many drivers consider this maintenance schedule to be optional, or worse, they think it's a ploy by the dealership to get more money out of them. Neither is actually true. For most manufacturers, the 30/60/90K maintenance schedule is a condition for honoring the warranty. Furthermore, keeping this maintenance schedule can actually extend the life of your vehicle, as well as saving you money on more costly repairs down the road.
What does factory scheduled maintenance entail?
In most cases, the scheduled maintenance involves a thorough inspection of your vehicle's systems to look for issues or worn-out parts. The auto repair service will usually perform some or all of the following as part of the maintenance:
- Change the oil
- Replace the spark plugs
- Replace filters
- Check fluids (transmission, brake fluid, coolant, etc.) and top them off or replace them as needed
- Rotate the tires
- Inspect belts and hoses, and replace as necessary
A trusted repair technician will let you know in advance if any repairs are needed outside the scope of the maintenance check. For earlier visits, fewer actual repairs or part replacements will be needed, but as the vehicle ages, you should expect to spend more to replace critical parts. (Example: the timing belt will usually need replacing at the 90K visit.)
Who should perform the maintenance?
A good way to save money on 30/60/90K maintenance is to have it performed by a qualified independent auto repair shop, rather than at the dealership. Some dealers would have you believe the warranty is in effect only if you bring the vehicle to their service department, but the manufacturer warranty stays intact as long as the maintenance is performed by a qualified repair facility. You should only take the vehicle to ASE-certified shops and mechanics, and if you drive a foreign make/model like BMW, MINI or Volkswagen, be sure to take it to a repair shop that specializes in repairing your particular vehicle.
In Vancouver, WA, David's Auto Repair has been providing quality automotive service and accurate engine diagnostics for more than fifteen years, and their ASE-certified technicians are qualified to service both foreign and domestic automobiles. To learn more about 30/60/90K maintenance and to get a free estimate.