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Used Cars/leasing and maintenance


I've never leased before, but know I'm responsible for maintenance like periodic oil changes, rotating tires and brakes. But what about the ton of other things included in the manual's maintenance schedule that are supposed to be done every 3-6 months? E.g.,  inspecting exhaust system, ball joints, steering linkage, filters, and many more? Am I obligated to go to the dealer or someone else every 3-6 months, and pay them a lot of money just to check those kinds of things because they are listed under 'scheduled maintenance'? Or are those kinds of things considered recommendations and not requirements, even when it comes to leasing? Thanks

Hi Lee ...

You caught me on a mini vacation but here you go ...

When you lease a car you are for all intents and purposes just renting it meaning that it's not your car's the banks. When you purchase a car the lease agreement will detail for you what you are responsible for ...for instance if you were to lease a BMW then all of your maintenance would be included including oil changes for the first 50k a Chevy ...and it's all yours. The good news is that your car will be under factory warranty for the entire term of the lease. Additionally the dealers F and I manager will try to sell you a maintenance package (the price for these is highly negotiable)

If I were leasing a car today I would only change the oil regularly and have the tires rotated and the brakes kept fresh and that's it. The suggested maintenances are just that ..suggested and recommended but not mandatory and if I were buying the car with long term ownership in mind then I would be more likely to do the recommended services ...please note the services do not need to be done at the dealer. I would do the oil changes myself and have the tires rotated at my local tire store.

Hope that answers your question the end of the lease you will be charged for anything above and beyond normal wear and tear and that's it... always make sure you address the small cosmetic issues before you turn the car back in to the dealer or be prepared to pay through the nose to have them fixed.

ask as many follow ups as you want I want to make sure you are completely satisfied with the answers so you can give me those perfect 10's and maximum bonus points on the after answer survey ...thanks


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Roger Alvey


I can answer any question about the car buying process. I am a recognized industry expert on all issues regarding auto finance, including sub prime and buy here pay here financing, I can answer questions about car lock out systems, GPS monitoring by your bank, and about auto recovery methods and defenses. I am a 20 yr car industry expert and can tell you what to look for in a used car, how to negotiate the deal, help with how to market your own car, and how to negotiate with the internet department of any car store. I can tell you every single way the dealer is set up to beat you and how to avoid those traps, I can discuss all aftermarket and extended service contract products you will be offered in the finance process, I have lectured extensively on "The Best Way to Buy a Car" to civic groups and university students. I am a credit expert and can tell you what the dealer and banks are looking for and the rate you can expect to pay. CHECK OUT MY WEBSITE AT


20 years industry experience in top management of dealerships and dealer groups. Recognized industry expert since 2004 in the Top 10 industry experts for The Gerson Lehrman Groups Auto Industry Council. I also do consulting work for Experts360, Atheneum Partners, Expert Connect and Coleman Research. I have been a franchise owner and understand all facets of the auto industry from the time the car leaves the factory until it leaves the lot with it's new owner. I have written training materials for both the prime and the subprime sales and finance process.

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