car maintenance log

If your goal is to keep your car in perfect condition at all times, regular maintenance is key. But that alone is not enough. You need to record every detail, including the dates when you visited your mechanic for car servicing.

In today’s article, we share several key reasons why every driver should keep a car maintenance log. We also explain a couple of easy ways to manage your records to keep things neat and simple to track.

Reasons to keep your car maintenance log

Helps you calculate the ownership cost

Whether you purchase a brand new or used car, you will inevitably incur maintenance and repair costs at some point. This is part of owning a car and it’s important to have it on record.

A maintenance log helps you calculate the total amount of ownership costs you’ve incurred since you bought your car. This makes it easier for you to better estimate the car’s market valuation when reselling it.

Also, if you’re planning to keep the vehicle, these records help you understand whether the ride is affordable or a waste of resources.

Finally, as with any other financial records, a maintenance log helps you improve your financial discipline. You can tell exactly how much money you spend every month and budget accordingly.

You can benefit from warranties

Defective spare parts are quite common in the automobile industry, so most reputable manufacturers offer warranties. Whenever you install new components in your vehicle, always note it down in your maintenance records. This way, tracking the service life of the spares gets easier while you can compare it with what a manufacturer promises.

As with most warranties, you must show proof of purchase before a manufacturer agrees to exchange the component with a new one. For this reason, keep your receipts attached to the maintenance records. Alternatively, you can get an assistant driver app like Drivvo to manage this information digitally.

Remember, a car has lots of parts, most of which come with guarantees of up to 5 years of service. This makes it more challenging to remember about tracking the service life of each, and the reason you must keep good records.

Do away with unnecessary maintenance

How disciplined you are with your expenses (and finances in general) can make or break you. For vehicles, a big part of the expenses come from maintenance and repair services. If you can track and manage these two aspects properly, you’ll hardly face any major issues with your car.

Keeping an updated maintenance log ensures that any changes you make to your vehicle are pre-planned. You will avoid guesswork when instructing your mechanic to offer repair services and ultimately save big on time and money spent at the garage.

A maintenance log also helps you to keep up with essential inspection services. Some components like engine oil require regular replacement to help your vehicle perform optimally. You cannot risk forgetting the servicing dates if you demand peak performance and prolonged life from your car.

Increase your bargaining power when reselling

When selling your used car, you can increase your bargaining power by showing your maintenance services records. Most buyers will have more confidence in dealing with a seller who takes proper care of their vehicle and shows evidence for it.

For cars with relatively low mileages, the log might not be particularly useful. But for high-mileage ones, the logs are one of the few things to guarantee that the car is well taken care of and that the new buyer will enjoy longer service with the vehicle.

Further, most used car buyers are keen to know about other vital details such as whether the car has been in a major accident before. And if yes, what components were replaced or repaired. Your maintenance log can offer much-needed quality assurance as it shows the overall condition of your car.

How to keep a vehicle’s maintenance log

Here are two ways to keep your maintenance log and ensure you don’t forget those important service days and other car details.

  • Go traditional by acquiring a notebook with dates similar to a diary. Write down all the replacements and repairs that you make to your car, including the costs.
  • Install a smart management software such as Drivvo, which we already mentioned earlier. Unlike a notebook, software solutions come with handy reminders for scheduled services. Besides, you can synchronize the vehicle’s data to multiple storage units.

Please note, if you own or manage multiple cars, be sure to add key details such as the vehicle’s number plates to the logs. Here at Motors on Wheels, we advise all car owners to keep their car records (not just maintenance logs) in multiple storage locations. For example, you can take a picture of sheets in your notebook and have them backed up in your smartphone, PC, and cloud storage.