Keeping an auto maintenance log is an easy way to get more life out of your car and keep track of the basic maintenance you perform on the vehicle. It is simple to set up an auto maintenance log, and training yourself to remember to use it helps ensure that proper maintenance items like oil changes get handled at the proper frequency as time goes by. When you set one up it is not necessary to be overly fancy, but it is important to create one that can be easily stored inside the automobile.
Setting Up Your Maintenance Record
Choose a small notebook that will easily fit in the glove compartment. That way it will always be easily accessible and won’t get lost. As long as you know where your car is, you will know where the log book is. If you keep good records and can show that regular maintenance was performed at appropriate intervals, it can help when you turn around to sell the car because a buyer will see that you took good care of it.
Buy a simple notebook, but one with plenty of room for records and a durable heavy duty cover so that it lasts a long time. It is smart to get some sort of page tabs in order to divide the log book and sort the records into categories. The first page is important. It should provide some of the vital information about the vehicle so that you have it at arm’s length as needed. Record the make and model of the car as well as the model year and the VIN (vehicle identification number) on that front page. Also keep your insurance information, including a policy number and a contact number for an agent.
Categorizing a Maintenance Log Book
There are several common items that you’ll probably want to track in this book including auto belt inspections. One of them is gas mileage. Write down the miles driven and gallons consumed at each stop so that you can keep an eye on your mileage over time. You may want a column for comments indicating whether the mileage was primarily highway or city to give you some context later on. Keeping track of gas mileage can provide you with some warning of maintenance issues that might arise from time to time.
Oil changes are another very important basic item to keep track of. Write down the date, mileage, type of oil used, and any other information that might be relevant. For example, if you were a quart low after only 3,000 miles and have never burned or leaked oil before, this is worth noting and keeping track of. You’ll want to check the oil at every fill up once this type of pattern emerges for the first time.
Tires and Brake Pads
Your tire tread and mileage is another important thing to stay on top of. Note the date and mileage at which you get your tires rotated, and find a way to measure and note tread life. When you replace tires, make note of the brand, type, and mileage rating of the new tires and the date installed. The same type of information is also important for brake pads. Look at the thickness of the pads and keep track of wear over time. When you replace pads, rotors, and so forth, note the date as well as the mileage on the car and the brand and model pads you chose to use. Keeping an auto maintenance log is an easy way to do a better job of maintaining your vehicle.