Normal vs. Excess Vehicle Wear & Tear

Vehicle Maintenance and Emissions
Every vehicle will experience a certain level of what is called, “wear & tear” that happens over a period of time. It is important to be able to identify what normal wear is as opposed to excessive so that you can keep your car in a safe condition to drive. Wear and tear can be identified in different ways.

When you lease a vehicle, you are held responsible for keeping it in good condition and the leasing company will inspect the amount of wear and tear on it when it is turned back in. You need to make sure you are paying attention to this over time so when the lease is up, you are not overcharged for fixes to the vehicle. With any vehicle, make sure to bring it in to a mechanic on occasion to keep it in good condition and avoid unnecessary fixes to the car.

When Wear & Tear is a Concern

Wear and tear on a car is important in several situations, whether you own it or are leasing it. When you own your vehicle, making sure the wear on it stays at a normal level can really help lower the amount of maintenance you may need to do. This means staying on top of your suggested maintenance schedule and paying attention to interior and exterior damages to the car as the years pass.

When leasing a car, the wear and tear can become imperative because once that vehicle is turned back in, it will be assessed to decide what damages are acceptable or unacceptable. If any damages are deemed unacceptable and requiring repair, there will be a charge evaluated with the end of the lease.

If this does happen, make sure to bring your car into a good local auto repair shop to have it assessed as well. Get a written detailed estimate of the damage that you can bring to a repair shop and make sure you are not being overcharged by the leasing company to fix it. You can always decide to have the damages fixed by that repair shop before bringing your car in to avoid the leasing company’s high charges since you will be held responsible for them.

Identifying Normal Wear & Tear

Try and avoid any wear on a vehicle, but this of course is not always possible. Knowing what is considered normal is essential so if the damage starts to grow, you can stop it before it gets any worse. Once the wear is considered in excess, this is when you will start incurring higher charges because it may be too late.

Wear on a vehicle can be classified as interior and exterior. When looking at the exterior, or the outside of the vehicle, there are a few things to identify. Look for any damages to the paint including dings and scratches. Any damage and perforations that are 2 inches in diameter or would cost less than $100 to fix will be considered normal.

Other exterior parts to a car can include the tires, lights, parts to the car, and even the engine. For instance, tires should have tread depth of 1/8 inch or more in diameter. Lights should have cracks less than 2 inches. Any broken or missing parts to the car will be considered excess only, so make sure to avoid this all together.

The interior of a car can be expansive and there are several areas to the interior that can occur damage. The seats for instance can get burns, stains, tears, and more. If these are half an inch in diameter or less they will be considered normal, anything greater will start to cost you.

Identifying Excess Wear & Tear

Once the normal wear begins to happen, this can ultimately lead to excess wear and tear. Pay attention to the normal wear regularly so you can catch it early enough to avoid any excess wear so you don’t have to deal with the extra stress and cost of this.

With the exterior, the same applies that all punctures on the body more than 2 inches in diameter will be considered excess and need to be fixed. Tire tread is excess once it hits less than 1/8 inch and they start to show gauges, cracks, and more. The same with the lights, if the cracks start to get bigger than 2 inches, they will be excessive. The interior will need to be kept in good condition, making sure any tears, stains, and more do not exceed 2 inches total.

Excess wear can be very common and unavoidable once they happen, such as missing parts. One thing to pay attention to is the mechanical maintenance of the engine. If this is not kept up properly and something serious happens, this will be excess wear and you have no choice but to pay to have this fixed. Although, with regular suggested maintenance, the wear that happens mechanically is easier to slow down or stop.

If you are trying to avoid excess wear and tear on your vehicle and need to identify any normal wear that has started, Schedule an Appointment so you can prevent this from happening. Call any of our AAMCO Denver or AAMCO Colorado Springs locations for a FREE diagnostic test now. We can help you with any regular engine maintenance and transmission repair that may have already started.

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