New phone app helps drivers track maintenance schedules for vehicles


Many vehicles are making it past 200,000 miles these days. Now it's even easier to extend the life of your car, thanks to a little help from your smartphone.

Allen Johnson is the service director at Gulfgate Dodge. He says you can easily get 400,000 or 500,000 miles out of vehicles now if you take care of them.

Think your Toyota or Ford can go that far? Johnson says staying on top of that maintenance schedule is key to prolonging the life of your vehicle. And it goes well beyond oil changes.

"You still have to check the tire pressure. You have to have the tires rotated. You always want to check all your fluids. Check the levels in there. Make sure you don't have any leaks," Johnson said.

That goes for transmission fluid, brake pad replacement, even power steering fluid. Thanks to your smartphone, remembering when service is due just got simpler.

"We're now offering the My Carfax app, which allows you to track your vehicle service history and it alerts you when your car needs maintenance," said Chris Basso with Carfax.

Basso adds this app was designed with the busy driver in mind.

"Fluid flushes, checking the mechanical parts of the car at different mileage intervals. And it's really hard for the consumer to figure out when that is," Basso said.

He adds the app is simple to use. Just enter your license plate number, and the app will pull up your vehicle's information and maintenance schedule, according to manufacturer recommendations. The app will then alert you when service is due, based on your car's current mileage.

"And the my Carfax app is absolutely free for your iPhone, or your Android," Basso said.

Experts tell us the cost to replace an engine can range between $5,000 to $10,000. But staying on top of that maintenance schedule could help you avoid that costly repair.

Also, the app lets you know if there's an open recall on your vehicle. Those, of course, are free to take care of when you bring your car back to the dealer for service.

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