Advanced maintenance technology, which reminds drivers to service their cars, is an accurate measure of when a car needs necessary work. Motorists who have a reminder system in their car often rely solely on the system to know when repairs and service are needed.
October is Car Care Month, and AAA is reminding you to keep up with regular vehicle maintenance, especially when your car’s reminder system recommends it.
According to an AAA survey, 63 percent of drivers have a car with a built-in maintenance reminder system that alerts them when it’s time to have service work performed. More than half of those drivers rely solely on the reminder system and have maintenance done only when the system says it’s due.
Maintenance technology reminder systems use various sensors and a computer algorithm to monitor vehicle operations and determine engine oil life based on real world use — unlike traditional service schedules, which are based on time and/or mileage.
Though it varies by reminder system, commonly monitored data includes hours of operation, engine rpm, cold starts, outside air temperature and vehicle speed. This analysis of real-time operating conditions makes choosing an oil change interval based on traditional driving conditions obsolete.
Interestingly, motorists who follow their in-car reminder systems may also see a change in the frequency of recommended oil changes. While older vehicles sometimes required oil changes as often as every 3,000 miles, advancements in engine and lubricant technology have extended oil change intervals to 5,000 miles or more on most newer cars.
However, while maintenance reminder systems typically call for extended oil change intervals, those recommendations assume that the oil used in the engine meets the automaker’s standards. AAA found that nearly 75 percent of motorists whose cars have built-in maintenance reminder systems understand that the accuracy of those systems depend on using oil that meets the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications. This is good, because using lower quality oil can compromise engine quality and decrease the accuracy of a vehicle reminder system.
Maintenance technology may remind you when to service your car, but it can’t do the job for you. Keep your car in top condition at one of these AAA-approved Auto Repair Facilities. Plus, save 10 percent on car service and parts with an AAA membership.