We look over your vehicle every time you come into Lowell's to identify service items which might need your attention. We put our recommendations (if any) at the bottom of your invoice, and we prioritize and color-code them for you.
But what do those color codes mean, exactly? What's the difference between "Needed" and "Needed Soon"? What is "Due by Mileage"?
We have five classifications we use here at Lowell's based on your future costs and your safety. Here are the guidelines we use when we prioritize your recommendations, from low to high severity:
- DUE BY MILEAGE - For these service items, we can't tell whether the service is needed through a visual inspection alone, but your vehicle's mileage indicates that the service is due.
In other words, the service may have been done elsewhere, but we can't tell. This is why DUE BY MILEAGE often comes up with newer Lowell's customers. If you've recently had the service done, then it probably isn't necessary. (And be sure to let us know so that we stop bugging you about it.)
- NEEDED - These items are likely to create long-term damage to your vehicle if left untreated. They are not safety risks, and we haven't seen any damage occuring on your vehicle yet.
If you choose not to address this item today, monitor that part of the vehicle and consider scheduling this service or repair with your next regular visit with Lowell's (i.e., the next time you change your oil).
- NEEDED SOON - These items are likely to create moderate vehicle damage (less than $750) in the next six months if left untreated. They are not safety risks, but they could be currently damaging your vehicle.
If you don't address this item today, consider scheduling an appointment with us in the next one to two months.
- URGENT - These items represent a near-term safety risk or are likely to create significant near-term vehicle damage (over $750) if left untreated. In other words, something could easily go wrong in the near future.
If you don't address this item today, schedule an appointment with us in the next three weeks to repair your vehicle.
- CRITICAL - These items are immediate safety risks or are currently creating significant vehicle damage. Vehicles with a CRITICAL classification shouldn't be driven.
If you don't address this item today, please consider towing the vehicle from the shop.
Based on our experiences with vehicles like yours, we assess how severe the service item could become. Most of our recommendations fall into the DUE BY MILEAGE or NEEDED categories. We only rarely use the URGENT or CRITICAL classifications on a vehicle.
You and your car are unique. You may be able to drive with a problem we've identified for quite some time, or you may experience problems sooner than we predicted.
We hope that these categories help give you a general idea of the importance of each item as you review your recommendations. And, as always, you should feel free to contact us whenever you have questions about your invoice or your vehicle.