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Your car provides great freedom and great enjoyment, but you need to be prepared when it needs repair. The process is pretty easy if you've kept good records. Keep a simple summary or maintenance log in the car, and you'll have a record readily available.
For each repair, write down the date, odometer reading, the nature of the repair, and the repairer. Also note when parts are replaced. It's also a good idea to log fuel economy every time you fill up. Changes in your miles per gallon can provide important clues to repair technicians.
Some maintenance chores should be done every few months, others are based on mileage. For instance, tires need to be rotated every 6,000 miles or so, but the radiator should be flushed and refilled every other year. Record routine care like oil and filter changes, transmission fluid changes, battery replacement and radiator flushes as well as major repairs like exhaust system replacement, new brakes, CV boots or transmission work.
Your maintenance log provides protection and information – protection from redoing unnecessary repairs, and information technicians can use to get a sense of your car's history and past problems.
The log is also a good place to write reminders when your car is due for routine maintenance, how long parts are under warranty and how many miles you have before the next scheduled repairs. Use the log, update it as soon as maintenance and repairs are made, and keep it in your car.
|DATE||ODOMETER READING||SERVICE OR REPAIR COMPLETED||PARTS REPLACED
|DATE||ODOMETER READING||MLES TRAVELED SINCE LAST FILL||GALLONS DISPENSED||MILES PER GALLON (miles travelled divided by gallons dispensed)|