What is a zero maintenance and why it is carried out

What is “zero” TO and how much it is necessary.

When buying a car in the cabin, the manager warned me that up to 3000 km. it is desirable to make a “zero” TO. After reading the information on the Internet…but how much is necessary, I tried to weigh the pros and cons, but nothing worked out. The articles contradicted each other. On the one hand, it is kind of unnecessary…the salons are sucking money out of the clients this way, and they only change the oil. On the other hand, it is kinda necessary…parts are lapped, metal chips, etc.

“A little bit of theory:

Of course, a new engine is in run-in mode. At this point, it’s producing a huge amount of fine particles, which obviously won’t extend the life of the motor. For this reason, it is better to change the oil at a run of 3000 km and drive safely.

Another popular opinion is that the technology of engine production now allows not running-in at all. It is impossible not to agree with it, in fact there is a reason that set of routine maintenance and TO of Kia does not contain a mark about zero maintenance. Recommendations of the service book we just can consider as a guide to action (according to her, you should come for maintenance only mileage of 15 000 km).

After talking to people in the familiar car service, I was finally confused and still decided to do, probably more for his own peace of mind.

“At the maintenance service 0 oil and filter change, diagnosis of electrical equipment, check the presence in sufficient volume and condition of all fluids, check the condition of the rubber on the wheels. The list of works should be specified in the service book or service card to your model.”

I call the dealer to sign up for a service and come to the horror =/ the declared price of 5900! And this is only for the oil and filter. Oh yes, and to remove/insert the protection 8/ … Once again I was convinced that you can not buy any extras in the cabin, but really did not want to bother with it then. But they could at least protect with a hole for the oil drain put! “angry smiley face” Some articles write that TO-0 should be free, well, not really, but only the work:

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“Zero maintenance is usually done for free. The owner only pays for consumables, like oil and filter. They don’t usually charge for the work.”

After calling almost all Kia dealers, the cheapest is 4600. Where is this assumption coming from? Or does it only apply to certain brands? I was offered to buy my own oil, but the dealer refused to be responsible for the consumables.

Disappointed completely, I still went to this ill-fated service. A pleasant surprise for me was that the final cost is not 5900, but 4700. Let me explain, when buying a car, somehow my l/c at the dealer was 3000 rubles and I was offered to pay 20% of the final cost of the l/c. In total, it took 2 hours…while they did all the paperwork, while everything was done…I never thought it would take so long to change the oil.

“It is not unreasonable to observe the work on your car. Often the replaced parts are put in the trunk of the car, but to be sure, you can find out if the shop is equipped with CCTV cameras. Or arrange in advance for access to the service area and observe in person. Will be sure that the service will not bill for services not rendered.”

This time I decided not to observe the work, but to wait in the customer area. After all the procedures the mechanic kindly showed me an empty filter box and a half-empty oil can.

Bottom line: I got a mark in the service book.

If the dealer does not require TO-0, then decide whether to spend the money and time to visit the service or not. You can check the level of liquids in the car, wear and tear of rubber and work of electrics by yourself or ask somebody to help with this question. The service manual describes everything in detail. Changing the oil at TO-0 will increase the engine life, but insignificantly, it’s more of a self-soothing for those who take the car for many years.

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All you need to know about zero maintenance

Buying a brand new car in a car dealership, we sincerely hope that it will serve us faithfully for a long time. Indeed, the difference in cost of a new and used car is the price paid for trouble-free operation of the vehicle during the first few years of its operation.

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But besides such organizational questions as registration, registration of insurance and other obligatory things, car owners are soon faced with necessity of intermediate inspection of car technical state, or zero checkup. Newbies usually do not ignore this procedure, but there are those who consider it as an additional siphoning of money. Let’s find out if it is necessary to pass TO-0 and whether it is possible to do it yourself, without visiting the dealer center.

What is a zero maintenance checkup, why is it held?

Under the intermediate (it is also zero) maintenance of the car should be understood as an out-of-service check of its main systems (the main attention is paid to the engine). As a rule, it is recommended to make such service at the run in the interval of 1500-7000 km. Some dealer service centers perform such maintenance on a free basis, but in most cases it will cost money, although the amount should not be large.

Zero maintenance is not among the mandatory (routine) procedures, because this is the attitude of the TO-0 specified in the DTC. The procedure includes the simplest checking operations. During the running-in period, it is prescribed to operate the car in a light mode, which is necessary for problem-free lapping of engine parts and other components. If you stick to these recommendations, then there should not be any problems, but the zero maintenance is conducted to make sure that the new car does not contain a factory defect and has successfully passed the initial test.

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With modern cars the service interval is tied to the mileage and amounts to 10,000-15,000 kilometers. Zero maintenance is usually performed when the speedometer displays 30-50% of the specified mileage, but the recommended value of kilometers may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. To find out when to go to the service center, look in the owner’s manual of your model.

A car on the road

The supporters of TO-0 argue their position with the fact that the initial diagnostics of the car is necessary, and the zero maintenance allows getting rid of the traces of the running-in period for the engine and other units of the car.

Opponents of the procedure are convinced that modern cars do not need such an early inspection, because their running-in is not as sensitive to the mode of operation in the first thousand kilometers, as in older cars.

Indeed, 30 years ago, TO-0 was recommended by the automakers. In particular, for VAZ 2101/2107/2114 models this procedure was considered obligatory. Today in the service book of Lada Vesta or Granta you will not find any reference to TO-0.

Do I have to do zero maintenance?

Recommendations, but for many motorists this question is quite relevant. Especially those of them who consider this procedure in terms of material costs. They are the ones who ask how necessary is the intermediate service.

We believe that there is simply no unambiguous answer to the question, whether you need zero maintenance or not. The brand new car is the vehicle that has not yet been in operation, that is, the human factor has not yet had time to affect it (we mean the use of poor-quality fuel fluids and consumables, unfavorable mode of operation, etc.). The probability of malfunction occurrence at the mileage of several thousand kilometers is very low indeed. With a high degree of confidence, you can assume that nothing serious will happen to your car before the first service interval mark.

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But the reality can still make corrections. It is impossible to exclude a factory defect, which was not detected at the stage of factory testing. Usually, such small errors may be detected already during the zero maintenance, and if you do not take measures for their elimination (which is very possible, if you skip the intermediate service), such small troubles may turn into serious damage, or even become the reason for the car to get into an accident.

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It is also necessary to mention existence of a problem with running-in oil filter. The matter is that automakers recommend not to load the engine during first 7-10 days, that is to drive at rather low revolutions. The reason in it is obvious – not lapped rotating parts will inevitably generate small particles, which will clog oil and accumulate in the filter. Therefore it is recommended to carry out the first change of engine oil not at the first, but at the zero maintenance service.

Anyway, zero maintenance is not obligatory, and the final decision on its necessity should be made by the owner of a motor vehicle.

What is included in the zero maintenance

If you have decided that the intermediate maintenance should be performed, you will be interested in information about the composition (regulations) of this procedure. We have already noted above, that the greatest load during running-in period falls on an oil filter. But, in addition to replacement of engine oil, zero inspection of the car includes a number of other checks, the list of which may vary depending on the brand / model of the vehicle. Usually such inspection includes:

  • checking the level and condition of the coolant (and its replacement, if necessary);
  • check the level of antifreeze, top up liquid if necessary;
  • check the level and condition of transmission oil;
  • inspection of units and parts of the suspension;
  • check the condition and operability of the electrical components of the vehicle.

The procedure of TO-0 may also include inspection of the interior, but the most attention is given to the power plant.

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Zero Maintenance on a car

Is it possible to carry out zero maintenance on your own

We have already discussed whether it is necessary to undergo zero maintenance. According to statistics, those who consider this operation unnecessary are much less. But among supporters of this procedure there are also those who believe that such work is not necessary to be performed in a service center – because in most cases it is a paid event, and it does not include as many operations as regular maintenance.

It is important to understand the potential benefit of intermediate service and that doing some procedures by yourself (we mean changing of MM and oil filter) is fraught with loss of warranty. Inspection procedures do not have any unpleasant consequences.

Whether it is worth to change oil in the engine on zero maintenance depends on the results of checkup of its condition. If it is polluted or you can see foreign particles in it – definitely yes, but keep in mind that without proper experience you may install the filter incorrectly, and it is fraught with serious troubles. The same consequences are possible if you install the wrong filter for your model. But you should be most of all concerned about possible removal from warranty – after all it is not difficult to notice unauthorized change of oil filter. So, there is one conclusion – in garage conditions the zero maintenance is admissible only if you are going to limit yourself only to inspection. Otherwise, it is better to visit a service center or to wait for the first service.

We understand, that after reading this material you will not receive a direct and unambiguous answer to the question you are interested in. But if your dealer will insist on carrying out an intermediate inspection (and such cases are not rare), you can legally refuse. But is it worth it? Having spent approximately half of the cost of regular check-up you will become sure that your car is in an ideal technical condition.

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