When it comes to the vehicle maintenance I can't do myself, there's nothing better than a pair of factory-trained hands. So, unlike many Americans, I take my older cars back to the dealer for service.
But that's exposed an interesting problem: Service departments may no longer have the tools and diagnostic equipment to service older cars. Here are two recent examples.
The vehicle I drive daily is a spotless, low-mileage 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, the perfect urban assault vehicle for Detroit's gnarly, potholed roads. I recently took the Jeep to the dealer for the trailer hitch recall, figuring while it was there, I would get some regular maintenance items done. I ended up writing a check for $1,000, mostly for preventive maintenance, but that still left some items on the to-do list undone, notably automatic transmission service, which includes changing the fluid and cleaning the filter.