Read between the lines
Ulterior motive: An alternative reason for doing something, especially when differing from the stated or apparent reason.Car owners have to read between the lines. Take for instance what the factory recommends (or requires) for maintenance, like an oil change. t may be 5-10,000 miles or more.
There are two things you need to know about such a published recommendation:
- They must inform you of the “minimum required” care to keep you from voiding the warranty.It seems to me that you might like your car to last longer than 36,000 miles (like 100-200-300,000) so you will want to do more than the bare “minimum”. They are in the business of selling cars, not keeping them on the road.
- Projected cost of ownership.Consumer advocates publish the total cost to drive a car over many miles. They use the factory maintenance schedule to estimate maintenance costs.
- If the car manufacturer deletes an item from the list (and they can get away with that since it will go more than 36,000 miles without much of the maintenance scheduled for 50,000-100,000 miles) so maintenance sounds pretty cheap with fuzzy math, doesn’t it.
- If they extend the service intervals (like oil changes) there will be less visits, so dollars reported to be spent in that report.
Problem is: A smart consumer isn’t going to take all that depreciation and trade in their car every two or three years like they did decades ago. You want a better return on your investment.
You’ll want your car care professional to be concerned with how you use your vehicle and how long you intend to own it before making repair or maintenance recommendations. Who would you rather trust with your investment your corner car guy or a major corporation?
It kind of sounds like the fox guarding the henhouse…trusting a major corporation to have your best interest in mind.