Updated: Mar 10, 2020
Preventative maintenance is a term used to describe regular maintenance that prevents your car from having issues earlier in its life. Though most mechanics prefer the term preventative maintenance, you may have often heard of it as logbook servicing.
Logbook servicing is a specially designed program that your car's manufacturer will put together based on how quickly they think the oils, filters and other parts of your car will wear out.
Preventative maintenance itself may not be specifically what the brand recommends as sometimes cars wear different pieces faster due to different climates or conditions.
For example, in many older cars, when oil technology was not as good as it is now, brands would ask for their cars to be serviced every 6 months or at most every 10,000km.
With that said, as oil technology has improved over the last few decades, brands have realised that they are able to let vehicles go further between services. As such, it’s common for many cars to travel 15,000 to 20,000km before needing their oil changed.
With that said, many mechanics don’t think of logbook servicing as the only part of preventative maintenance, and many might suggest servicing vehicles more often based on how the owner uses it. For example, in many Hyundai’s, mechanics and owners prefer to carry out the services at 7,500km instead of every 15,000km, ensuring less wear and tear on the engine.
The best example of preventative maintenance though is RFS trucks; which are sometimes required to have a service after each fire. This unique condition is due to something called adverse conditions, which we will touch on next time.
The other aspect of preventative maintenance is replacing parts which could lead to bigger issues with your car. For example, a mechanic might recommend you replace the tyres on your car due to their age, even if they still have tread, as the rubber can go off and become perished, or brittle over time, putting you at more risk.
Remember, preventative maintenance isn’t just logbook servicing. Depending on your vehicle and how you use it, a mechanic may recommend earlier services, or even replacing parts which are likely to fail. Though if you're ever uncomfortable with a mechanic's recommendation, you should check our guide on what to look for in a good mechanic.