Servicing a car that barely gets used
Somewhat to my surprise, I’ve now had my car for almost three years.
This means the dealer warranty that came with it is just about to run out, which in turn means I don’t have to keep driving it across town to Alan Mance to keep it current. Good.
I’ve only made use of that warranty once or twice, and of course it didn’t wipe out the cost of a service/repair, merely reduced it. (At one stage there was a problem with the engine stuttering, and another time one of the electric windows failed.)
I’m actually wondering how little servicing I can get away with. Consider this: I barely drive during the week. It’s not uncommon for the car to sit in the driveway from Sunday morning to Saturday afternoon.
Apart from long drives such as this past weekend (up to Marita’s parents and back; a total of about 320 km) and suburban jaunts, I reckon I’d normally do less than 50 km per week. So (and I haven’t checked this) I might drive about 3000 kilometres in a year — a long way from the Australian average of 14,600.
So I’m thinking for the basic twice-a-year checkup (including oil change) I’ll probably just start taking it to the local Ultratune, which is closeby (in Mckinnon) and in fact is closer to a railway station than the nearest Holden dealers at Elsternwick, Oakleigh or Glenhuntly.
Occasionally they might need to order a part and wait a day or two, but given how little I drive during the week, it’s unlikely to matter.
(By the way, Ultratune is one of several companies that sell roadside assistance, for $65/year — cheaper than RACV’s basic rate of $86 plus $46 establishment, and you don’t see Ultratune out lobbying for more freeways, do you…)