Victoria Vehicle Maintenance - Keeping a Car Log
Logging, which means you enter information in a log book, is done by pilots, fleet operators, the military and virtually anyone who's livelihood (if not their life) depends on their vehicle's performance and dependability are essential.
Maintaining a log book is a good idea and a simple procedure. Just keep a notebook and pencil handy in your car, in either the glove compartment or the centre console. Start recording anything of importance about the maintenance and operation of the car or truck.
Essentially, you would keep six types of entries:
- Gasoline fill-ups and mileage.
- Adding fluids such as engine oil, coolant, power steering fluid (record at what mileage)
- Maintenance services performed: what, when, by whom and how much it cost;
- Non-routine services, i.e. body repairs or paint, accessories installed, etc.
- Insurance and/or registration information.
- Record frequently used part numbers and/or specifications, sometimes not easily found in the Owner's Manual (belts, hoses, headlamps, spark plugs, filters, etc.)
Most businesspeople, salespeople and truck drivers, whose vehicle expenses are tax deductible, know the importance of maintaining good records.
A running record of gas purchases & distance driven will show a decrease in gas mileage, warning of a malfunction or need for tune-up.
You'll notice abnormal oil or fluid consumption, which could be the tip-off to a leak or other potential problem.
You'll be reminded when overdue for an oil and filter change, transmission service or other important maintenance.
Provides excellent documentation regarding a vehicle's salability, it's time to sell or trade, because a car buyer can see what maintenance has been done and when.
When you do have mechanical trouble, you can tell the a mechanic exactly what work has been previously done.
For import cars, you can jot down the original numbers & the equivalent parts' conversion numbers from readily available domestic brands. This can be a big time saver when a crisis occurs far from a major source of auto parts.