Motor vehicle maintenance helps preserve a car’s value and safety. Ideally, the owner should follow the car maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual as closely as possible. Consequences of neglect may include:
Stranded Vehicle – Some of the cheapest parts are the most important. A rupture of an alternator belt or coolant hose, for example, can strand a car miles from home, resulting in tow charges and inconvenience.
Accidents – Blatant disregard for replacement of parts can lead, in worst case, to loss of life. For example, bald tires that cause a spin-out accident on a rainy freeway.
Shortened Vehicle Life – Not changing oil results in sludge buildup, which can lead to engine failure eventually.
Poor Performance – A motor set to the proper ignition timing cycle has better acceleration than an engine not sparking at the correct cylinder positions.
Lower Gas Mileage – Forgetting to tune the car up periodically affects fuel economy. Replacing spark plugs and ignition wires and properly inflating the tires helps the vehicle get good gas mileage.
Reduced Resale Value – Waxing the paint helps keep a shiny finish. Vacuuming and shampooing the vehicle’s interior rugs helps to keep the car looking new. When a prospective buyer inspects the car, the appearance may impact willingness to spend a few dollars more.
Voided Warranty – The owner who doesn’t schedule car maintenance tasks responsibly may void the vehicle’s warranty. The sales agreement may dictate that the owner adhere to oil changes and other essential maintenance points, or forfeit the warranty covering vehicle repair.
The consequences of neglecting maintenance range from life threatening to cosmetic. Most importantly, proper maintenance will give the driver peace of mind.