QOTD: Do You Follow Recommended Maintenance Schedules?

Floss twice a day. Get your teeth cleaned twice a year. Get a routine physical. Preventative maintenance can be hard to find time for in a busy world, and if it’s expensive, neglect is all the more costly. We all know what we’re supposed to do, but how many of us actually do it? Your car, when new, came with a recommended maintenance schedule for the major intervals (30k, 60k, 90k, 120k, etc). Do you follow such a schedule?

Curbside Classic is made up of all kind of different types: Some of us are diehard DIY mechanics whose cars have never seen a shop. Some of us are somewhat mechanically minded and can do a little bit of wrenching but know when to turn things over to a pro. Some of us love cars but have no mechanical savvy whatsoever. File me somewhere in the middle of that group.

As a young man, I went through several cars, doing the minimum maintenance on them to keep them going. Later, when my means allowed for more than a beater, I began to take the idea of preventative maintenance more seriously. In fact, these days, I keep a detailed spreadsheet showing exactly what’s been done, in addition to what needs to be done. I’ve found that in addition to giving me a sense of auto-biography (ha!), prospective buyers of my cars consider it to be a selling point.

Some dealerships advertise specials for interval servicing, and indeed, the previous owner of my current daily driver did these as was recommended. Some of these were obvious shellackings by the dealer, though. Did my Prius really need the throttle body cleaned at 48k? Most likely the dealer just dumped in a can of miracle fluid and charged the previous owner $100 or more.

I’ve tried to find a good balance between what the service manual recommends, and what I can stomach paying for. But yes, I’ve gotten in the habit of following the recommendations. I do what I can at home by myself, and I pay for what is beyond my ability. I don’t pay for a “90k Maintenance Package” as such, but I make sure that I try to do the things that are recommended for that interval as quickly as time and funds allow.

What about you, curbsiders? How closely do you follow the recommended maintenance schedule?