What You Need to Know About Logbook Servicing for Your Vehicle
When you buy a new vehicle, it usually comes with a logbook, or a book that lists recommended service for the vehicle and when to have that service done over the years. It will also have room to note when such service was completed. If you buy a used vehicle, you can typically buy a blank logbook and fill it in yourself with this same information. If you're new to vehicle ownership, or have always purchased used cars and don't know why a logbook is used, note a few considerations about this book, so you know its purpose and how to make the most of it.
How it protects you
A logbook is a good way to keep yourself organized about needed servicing on your vehicle, as said, so that you don't overlook oil changes, fluid refills, transmission services and the like. However, this book is also a written record of when such work was done, which can be needed for a vehicle manufacturer to maintain your warranty. If you fail to prove that you've had certain routine maintenance performed at certain times, your vehicle's manufacturer can refuse to honour that warranty, as can manufacturers of parts used on the vehicle.
A logbook can be good to have when you decide to sell that vehicle; potential buyers will want more than your word that it's been maintained properly, and the logbook can show them the work you've had done over the years. This might increase the value of the car and attract more potential buyers overall.
Planning the work
Another advantage of a logbook is that it allows you to see when you might expect certain components to need replacing or maintenance. This includes things you might otherwise overlook, such as the battery, fuel pump, fan, gears, bearings and other such components. By seeing this information spelled out in that book, you can plan ahead financially for when that work will need to be done, and ensure a part is replaced or maintained before it outright fails.
Dealer versus non-dealer servicing
Note that you are not typically required to use mechanics authorized by your car's dealer or manufacturer to maintain a logbook properly and protect your car's warranty. As long as you have the service done by a properly licensed mechanic and it's entered into the logbook, this should suffice. For a used car with no warranty, it's good to still enter any work you've done yourself, so potential buyers can see that the car was maintained, as mentioned.