Follow the Money: An open letter to the motoring public.

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How often should you change your oil?  This seems like an easy question, but Google it and you’ll get so many answers, it’ll get confusing fast!  Instead, why not just follow your owners manual?  It offers a little more clarity. Often you have two schedules to choose from, and don’t the manufacturers want to sell cars and not keep them running forever?

You are probably reading this at a quick lube or oil change center.  You might think they want more frequent oil changes, and you’d be right, but if you are reading this letter they put it out for you to read.  They are not afraid of the truth; they simply look at things differently.  They take care of you, not just your car.  They’ll get their money from your other cars and loyalty in the long run.

The truth is, only you can make the right decision.  Let’s look at it a different way.  How often should you have your teeth professionally cleaned?  Twice a year?  Sounds right, but what if you brush and floss as recommended?  You should be good.  But the cleaning is just the basic service to get you in the office and then comes the inspection — X-rays, some poking around the gums and teeth and a visual inspection of the rest of the mouth. Next come the recommendations or upselling: cavity, chipped tooth, crown, root canal — the terrible list goes on — minor fixes, some preventive maintenance, referrals for more major procedures.

This place is no different. We all overlook checking our tires, fluids, batteries, belts and other things as often as we should.  Here they don’t. They check it all.  Saving you money in repairs, at the pump and on tow trucks.  Follow the money.  Sure, you can do many of these things, but do you?

Check out, even Read up on oil change interval recommendations from third parties.  Protect yourself and your wallet with some basic knowledge from disinterested places.

What about me?  How do I make money?  I manufacture a line of additives, cleaners and stop leaks.  I hope you extend your drain intervals. I hope you ignore preventive maintenance services because that’s when I sell some of my products. I also make goods and services that enhance your wallet, security and driving pleasure, too.

Ultimately, I’m a car owner, too.  I have a 2001 minivan with 170,000 miles, a 2007 with 203,000 miles and a big diesel truck with 180,000 miles.  With four kids, I need to watch my money, too.

Happy motoring! 

DAVID PRANGE is currently assistant to the chairman at Next Generation Mfg.  He can be reached at 630.699.6813 or:

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