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Ihave a leased car -- all I'm interested in is keeping my costs to a minimum when turningit back in.

Assuming your lease is for 3 years or less, otherwise, followThis Section.

Back to Car Care

  • Under hood checks
    Once a month.  New vehicles require less attention and most problems are covered by the warrantee, BUT if the problem has to do with low oil, and as a result engine damage occurs, you are not covered. even if the low oil level was not your fault, you may be stuck with replacing an engine out of your own pocket, or paying a lawyer to fight the manufacturer.  It has happened, and more often than you might think

  • Oil change
    Follow manufacturer's recommendations in your owners manual, (required to maintain warrantee). Some new engines normally run very hot and are hard on oil. even missing a single oil change can cause an engine to develop sludge which can cause engine damage in as little as 15,000 miles.  Sludge problems are NOT covered by the warrantee.  You could be stuck with a bill for major engine work!  It happens more times than you think, usually to people who lease their car and think that they can get away with not doing proper maintenance.

  • Washing
    Every 2 to 4 weeks depending on conditions in your area. Garaged cars can go longer. Bird droppings should be removed as soon as possible as they can damage the finish.

  • Waxing
    Optional. Waxing will protect the finish and require less washing. A good idea if you park outside in industrial areas or under trees.

  • Align & Balance
    Check the tires for unusual wear or drifting right or left when on a straight road. (Click on Align & Balance for more info.)

  • Tire rotation
    This is more important for front-wheel-drive cars that usually wear front tires much faster than rear-wheel-drive vehicles. Check the tread depth from time to time. Turning a car back with two completely worn tires and two tires that look like new will cost you whereas four half worn tires will probably not.

  • Tune up
    Usually not required during the lease period.  Follow manufacturer's recommendation.

  • Winterizing
    Usually not required during the lease period.  Follow manufacturer's recommendation.

  • Timing belt
    Usually not required for the first 60,000 miles. Check owner's manual to see if your vehicle has one, then follow manufacturer's recommendation. Letting this service go can cause severe engine damage if the old belt fails which may not be covered under the warrantee.

  • Filters
    The air filter can easily be checked and replaced if it is clogged. The fuel filter should be ok for the lease period but can get clogged with a bad load of gas.  Emission control filters will be replaced under warrantee if they fail.

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