(Mods - I realize this may hover near the borders of IMHO - please move if appropriate.)
When I bought my Honda Civic back in 1996, the dealer gave me a maintenance schedule. It was a long list of things to have checked and/or replaced, at frequent mileage intervals throughout the car’s life. If you added up the costs of these “checkups,” they weren’t far from the price of the car to begin with!
Now, I’ve been pretty rigorous about getting my oil changed every 3000 miles, and the car has just reached the 100k mile mark. While I’ve had to get a few things fixed or replaced over the years (brakes, muffler, tires, AC), I haven’t been following the “official” maintenance schedule.
My question for the car experts here is: other than the oil and oil filter changes. are there any pieces of preventative maintenance I really shouldn’t be neglecting? What’s truly important, and what’s just the dealership (or other places*) trying to get me to spend unnecessary cash?
*(Jiffy Lube (where I get the oil changed), for instance, keeps trying to convince me to buy a new air filter. They always take out and show me the existing one – “Look how dirty this is! You’re losing gas mileage!” But I keep track of my mileage, and it’s held steady for years, so I’m not sure if it’s something I really need replaced.)