Auto makers are reducing maintenance intervals

Lynn Beckwith, That Car Lady

Beckwith’s Car Care

For quite a while we saw auto makers lengthening maintenance intervals between oil changes and many other maintenance items. Some of this is justified as chemicals and fluids have improved dramatically.

Unfortunately, they went a bit too far and started to see increasing wear issues, even to the point that their warranty related costs were increasing. In the independent repair sector we saw a range of customers who adopted the longer intervals and were facing more repairs. “Over the last decade almost all manufacturers have extended their recommended service intervals for longer mileage between even the most routine maintenance. Some have stretched out the mileage for a basic oil change to 10 or 12 thousand miles. At the same time the trend in the industry was to offer longer power train warranties. This has not worked out well for the car makers,” according to John Miller, Co-host of the Auto Mojo Radio Show on KPRC 950AM.

Thankfully over the last couple of years the auto makers are changing their minds and their service requirements.

General Motors has recently reduced their oil change intervals to less than 7500 miles and even re-calibrated their warning lights and systems to remind consumers of services in shorter mileage and time intervals. Older calibrations were notorious for going 9000 to 12,000 miles. The newer calibrations are much shorter, frequently triggering service at 4000 to 5000 miles. Warranty issues became so prevalent that they increased the requirements for maintenance.”First off, many have changed the language in the owner’s manual from “Recommended” to “Required” maintenance. This single statement is a bold indicator of where they are headed,”