Maintenance records

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Updated: 3/28/2003 1:53 pm
All vehicles need regular maintenance service, generally on a schedule based on the mileage of the vehicle. Most new vehicles are provided with an owner's manual in which scheduled services can be recorded by the workshop. If these periodic services aren't performed on time, it can adversely affect the car's condition. In some cases, workshops neglect to record service work in the manual, but many vehicle owners keep receipts of any work performed. Check all receipts and other paperwork that pertains to the vehicle. In some cases, these receipts can reveal that unusual repairs, such as bodywork or a repaint, have been done on the vehicle. This may indicate that it's been previously damaged. Generally, you can read in the owner's manual, which should accompany the vehicle about the manufacturer's recommendations concerning scheduled maintenance. Look at the odometer, and if it shows that the vehicle has recently passed a mileage that would normally require a scheduled maintenance, ask the seller if this has been done. If the pre-owned vehicle is no longer under manufacturer's warranty, it's particularly important to establish whether any costly service or maintenance work will have to be performed on the vehicle. Although sellers are not required by law to provide you with any service records, documentary proof that the vehicle has been well maintained, backed up by authentic workshop receipts, is a very reassuring sales argument.

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