Every time I take my car in for its regular oil change, I'm asked if I want to do recommended maintenance (for example, 60,000 mile checkup). In addition, after the oil change, I'm advised to have certain services done (for example, wheel alignment) based on what they've seen while doing the oil change and inspection. (These additional maintenance items I normally have performed at an auto repair shop I trust rather than a business primarily focused on oil changes.)
I can't remember if these things have been done or not! I tend to take my car for oil changes to the business that's offering the best deal, so it's up to me to track what's been done to my car and when. (If they recommend something that's just been done, it's a sign that perhaps I should choose a different business next time around!)
I created a list called Vehicles and a tag for each vehicle. I create a task for each maintenance procedure with a scheduled due date (like the oil change) or the date it was recommended via the standard inspection (which would also be the oil change date). I complete each task on the day it's done. I add the odometer reading in a note as many service procedures are done based on that. I can also add notes about discussions and who I spoke with, invoice numbers, etc if I feel I need historical documentation.
(One example from my past: I bought a new car. Almost right away, I could feel something wasn't quite right with the transmission. I didn't have any trouble shifting but I knew there was SOMETHING. Every time I took it in, they looked and couldn't find anything. I made them document the discussion on the service records. This continued until about 6 months after the warranty expired. You guessed it! The transmission blew up! It was covered by warranty because of the documentation I had collected.)
All of the recommended but not completed tasks always carry an overdue date since its set to the date the task was recommended. This continually reminds me the work needs to be scheduled.
When I sell my car, using that car's tag, I'll be able to print a complete list of all the work done for the new owners, too.! Proof of good maintenance could increase the value of the car to prospective owners as well.
Posted at 9:43pm on August 15, 2012