Regular servicing of a vehicle will ensure that it will run for a longer time in between any repairs caused by its normal running. This is true of almost all mechanical equipment. A log book servicing method  approaches the vehicle maintenance of your vehicle in a proactive way. 

In this method, a manufacturer suggested hand book requires you to check, or if needed replace, certain fluids, like brake oil and others, or  certain components, at time or mileage intervals, as suggested by them. It is not necessary that you have to go back to your original dealer for this, but it can always help to maintain warranties if such servicing is carried out by service centers that the car manufacturer will accept. A vehicle log book, supplied often with all new vehicles, is information from the manufacturer that allows the mechanic or repairer whom you entrust your car to for servicing can follow as a guide, while carrying out such servicing. This log book also serves as a record of all the work carried out on your vehicle, and can be of great value when you require to sell your vehicle, and will in all cases help to maintain its resale value, and also go a long way in extending its life and also help in maintaining any warranties that you have.

It is customary to keep your log book in the  glove compartment, but if there are too many users of your vehicle, it is always better to keep it in a safer place that you alone have access to, so that this permanent record of your vehicle service is available when ever it is required. It can always help if you if you read up constantly the manufacturer's recommendations so that you are aware of the attention that your vehicle needs at various times. If necessary, print out the timing and mileage requirements separately and put them in your personal diary or calendar, so that you have a constant visual reminder. 

If it is mileage based, make it a practice to look at the mileage on the meter on fixed days every month, so that you can compare them with any milestones suggested in the log book. If you are nearing any milestone, do not forget to book your slot at the service station in time, so that whatever needs changing to replacing can be carried out as soon as it is due  
or needed. A good service station or dealer will often keep track of the time bound schedules for this replacement or change and send you reminders or telephone you, but they will not be able to do so for those that are mileage based as they will not have any relevant figures available with them.  

Different manufacturers have different services that you need to carry out after fixed times or after certain mileages. Some items are common, and almost all log book servicing will require that after completing 10,000km  you carry out the following:

  • Change the engine oil and its filter, even if the oil is not dark
  • Inspect the brake and make any adjustments necessary
  • Carry out a check of the steering and suspension
  • Carry out a thorough inspection of the vehicle
  • Check the condition of radiator hoses and replace if necessary
  • There are many fluids under the bonnet like oil levels, brake fluid etc. They must all be checked and topped up
  • Carry out a computer check on the battery
  • Check fan belts, and replace if necessary
  • Check tyre pressure and condition of treads
  • Check all lights

Different manufacturers will have their own list of checks to be carried out at various times, normally associated with mileage. Some of the modern vehicles  make a lot of us of electronic controls  and IT technology, and there is often a schedule to check the software and put it any updates as suggested by the manufacturer. 

It is important that you acquaint yourself thoroughly with all aspects of log book servicing, so that you can question the service center after the vehicle is serviced. Also make it a point to get the log book signed and stamped by the mechanic, so that you have a complete record of the continuing health of your vehicle. This can be of great help when you decide to sell your vehicle at any time.