Do You Do Routine Maintenance on your Vehicle?

When I got my 6 year old Nissan Pathfinder in 2002, it was beautiful. It still cleans up nicely and no one can believe it’s 13 years old.

Anyway, it was the first vehicle I’d ever owned that I actually considering doing routine maintenance on. You know, the schedule that tells you when to change this and when to replace that? I had my credit union help me locate my vehicle and I discovered the original owner left identifying information in the glove box so I was able to contact the dealer where he’d not only bought the vehicle, but where he got all the routine maintenance done regularly! So my vehicle was in VERY good condition when I got it. That was such a blessing to have a vehicle that was practically brand new. Of course we did pay $14,000 for it, but it was definitely worth it.

After I learned that Mr. Previous Owner had kept up with scheduled maintenance, I became a bit obsessed about keeping up with the routine maintenance, until I took it in to a shop near my job and discovered it was going to cost nearly $2000 just to replace parts that were still in perfectly good working order!

If I was wealthy, I would probably keep up with routine maintenance. But until then, we’ll do like everyone else does (I do not know even one person who does scheduled maintenance) and fix it once it’s broke.

2002 Nissan Pathfinder photographed in Fort Wa...

2002 Nissan Pathfinder photographed in Fort Washington, Maryland, USA. Category:Nissan Pathfinder R50 Category:White SUVs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My thirteen year old vehicle keeps springing leaks. There are several very small bypass hoses in very tight spots. Some are hidden pretty well and you can’t even see them, but once they start to leak, they are easy enough to spot. Mr. A spent four hours last weekend replacing another of these little hoses. He’s replaced four or five of them now, and thinks this most recent one is the last of them.

I have to say I am a diehard believer in doing routine scheduled maintenance for timing belts and chains. I lost an engine once due to the timing chain breaking. Timing belts are even less reliable. We also do regular oil changes, and Mr. A keeps a close eye on the tires, making sure they look good and are aired up properly.

So, back to my original question: Do you do routine scheduled maintenance on your vehicle?


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10 comments to Do You Do Routine Maintenance on your Vehicle?

  • Sheila

    I’m puzzled as to what type of scheduled maintenance would cost that much ($2000). Yes, I do scheduled maintenance. I just had the 30,000 mile maintenance done on my Toyota Rav4 and it was less than $200. Other than that, I’ve done the oil changes and replaced the air filter myself. Even added up, I haven’t spent $2000 in the three years I’ve had this car. I’ve read you blog for a bit, so I can’t imagine that you only checked one place, but that’s a lot of money! I doubt I would do that either.


    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Oh dear, it’s been about seven years but I seem to recall it was the water pump and timing belt that made up the bulk of the cost. Then there were several other smaller cost items. The vehicle was six years old at the time. Timing belts should be changed, IIRC, every 60K miles for the Nissan Pathfinder, and it was past time. I don’t remember if I checked around. I recall that Mr. A did the timing belt and water pump (they recommend just doing the water pump while you are down that far into the engine) but the other things I never did get them done. Since then we pretty much reverted to “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.


  • Chicky

    My car is soon hitting 50K and according to the manual I have to do several maintenance. Your post is a good reminder for me that I need to take care of them asap. First I will probably make a list and go from there.


  • Here’s some instant feedback on this new format! I HATE IT. well not exactly. It looks cleaner and the color scheme is cool. However, can you re-expand the posts and not require ppl to click on each individual post to read the whole thing. I have been reading from the very beginning and i’m around august of 2008. It is VERY FRUSTRATING to have to click on each link, read it,then hit back and then click on the next link. Frustrating enough for me to stop reading. This is cool if ppl check ur site everyday but i’m sure there r others that will agree that when u want to read more than 3 posts at a time it’s frustrating.
    Obviously, this is just my opinion.


    mrsaccountability Reply:

    Hi Debtor, I think you might have dropped by the site when changes were being made because I’m not sure what you mean by the posts not being expanded and then I see that you dropped by later in the day and were happy with the changes. I wasn’t able to touch my blog all weekend due to the nameservers switching to the new webhost. More on that in an upcoming blog post.


  • yay. Thanks 🙂 It makes reading much easier. The site DOES look more professional with this new uplift. It’s very clean and spiffy.I wish i was so savvy with techy stuff!


    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Thanks for the feedback! I still want to make some changes, but I have to wait until I have more time. Darn day job, sure gets in the way of all the fun things I want to do.


  • Ooops! Thanks for the reminder: it’s past time to change the oil.

    Yes, I do try to do the regular maintenance chores on my (now ancient) Toyota. So far it’s run pretty much trouble-free. Changing the timing belt is expensive — if you had something else go wrong, like a water pump, you could find yourself with a bracing bill.

    SDXB used to do routine things like changing the oil, but now that he’s moved to the Far Side of the Galaxy [or is it just to “The Far Side”? ;-)], I get the Mechanic from Heaven to do it. Whenever I take it in for an oil change, he checks all the belts, rotates the tires, and generally inspects everything.


    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Funny, you are so lucky to have your Mechanic from Heaven. On my Nissan Pathfinder, the water pump is located just behind the timing belt, halfway into the engine, so we always change them out at the same time. It is astonishing how inexpensive the parts are, if you have someone who will do the labor free. It’s getting to be a real bear around here to get any vehicle work done, since Mr. A’s business has been hopping pretty good. I’m so swamped lately, I need a vacation! Thank you for visiting and commenting, Funny!! 🙂


  • […] My Pathfinder has 283,000 miles and for once we decided to have some work done proactively, instead of waiting until something broke. […]

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