The cost of commodities has risen year over in many major consumer categories. Some of these categories include groceries and automotive fuels/lubricants. The latter seeing the greatest increase in year over year prices of 20% from February 2010 to February 2011. This means, that the cost of maintaining your vehicle is getting more expensive. However, with more vehicle systems being managed by electronics and less by mechanical inputs it is even more critical to perform preventative maintenance.
In many current vehicles the transmission is more costly to replace than the engine its self. This speaks volumes since the transmission is often neglected during routine maintenance. It is far more critical now to ensure vehicles being serviced receive a thorough inspection and the owner is made aware of the impact of putting off preventative maintenance. A great example would be the impact of not changing the oil when the reminder light comes on. A direct impact would be seen on fuel economy but a more indirect and long term impact may occur on the mechanical components of the engine that are being forced to work with degraded motor oil.
The message is simple, preventative maintenance is important even if the cost of engine oil and parts continue to increase because the cost of replacing components on a new vehicle due to lack of maintenance is not what it used to be.