Friday, March 31, 2006

A nuisance

Scott just rolled over 10,000 miles in his car. At that moment, a little light appeared on his dashboard. It comes on at all scheduled maintenance intervals, apparently. No problem, they say. The dealership can reset that light for you. Dealerships make a lot of their money on service, and now, it seems, they're trying to make a lot of money resetting little lights.

The 10,000-mile required maintenance consists of changing the oil and rotating the tires. I have done these things myself, already. Even if I did choose to hire somebody for the work, it might not be the dealership.

There's nothing magic about 10,000 miles, anyway. Could I drive another 100 miles without changing the oil? Certainly. In fact, because it was a new car, we changed the oil (again, without help, thanks) at 5000 miles. In a brand-new engine, fine particles can wear off the working surfaces and abrade the engine, so we ignored the manual and we're now off the recommended maintenance schedule. It's not really due for the next oil change for awhile, and we're keeping track of it ourselves.

Fortunately, many people on the car forums out there are just as annoyed by this development. Probably one of them has figured out how to hack these cars to turn the light off, without help from the dealership.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know the feeling. If you disconnect the battery for any reason there's a light on the dash that comes on to warn you to re-set the airbags. I haven't gotten around to going to a dealership to have them re-set it, so 2.5 years later, the little light is still on. I'm kind of fond of it now . . .


31 March, 2006 23:20  

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