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Keeping track of the maintenance that your vehicle has undergone and what is next as it passes “X” mileage is pretty simple and an extra step that most car owners overlook.

Your vehicle very likely came with a booklet that ticks off for you what needs to be done to the vehicle during its life. This isn’t a suggested list. The automakers have this stuff down to a near science (sure there are many factors that can change things but as a rule it’s something you should follow). So pull out that checklist or go to your car’s manufacture website and look it up.

The maintenance log book will cover simple things like when to change and replace the oil filter to more complex things like when to replace the drive belt. This is useful for you when it comes to planning for maintenance costs. It also is great because when you come in and have the maintenance done you can mark it off in your book. Of course, here at Rick Stroud Auto Repair, we also keep a log of all the maintenance done to your automobile.

There are other ways to track your vehicle maintenance as well, like Evernote. I’ve taken to throwing into Evernote anything I do to my auto from gas charges to shop repairs. One could also create a spreadsheet as was done here on this template for Microsoft Office.

Why do you want to keep track of all this? Well, one it’s a great reminder of what is next and two if you plan on reselling your car or truck you’ve got a great bargaining chip to say, “Hey, look how well I followed the manufacture suggested upkeep.”

Oh, and third, in the long run your vehicle will reward you with long life.