I have a confession to make, a dirty secret...I don’t keep maintenance records!

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by canoeguy, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. Bar None

    Bar None OLD DUDE Supporter

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    I just document the service in the owner's manual. I have bought many vehicles with no service records, nothing documented in the owner's manuals.
    #21
  2. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Lol. I used to keep maint records in a spreadsheet when I had more bikes. Helped to keep what had been done and when to what bikes straight.

    Now that I have less bikes I dont bother. Anyone looking to buy a bike from me is going to see a bike that has been maintained.

    Folks that dont take care of their stuff invariably miss something obvious even if they are trying to hide the neglect. Nasty looking oil, radiator overflow bottle empty or full of crap, old dark brake fluid, rusty kinked up chain, wore our sprockets, suspensions with all the damping gone, etc.

    As a general rule I prep any bike I'm going to sell like I'm about to ride it across the country. All fresh fluids, pivot points greased, new or very decent brake pads and tires, and clean!

    I like to send bikes to their new homes ready to ride.
    #22
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  3. racurley

    racurley Adventurer

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    I keep a log in a phone app (Car Minder) which sets reminders for when to do something. Also tracks repair items or irregular items (repack muffler maybe?). I also use it for a gas mileage log. Buying a used bike, it's nice to see major repairs or key maintenance items like a timing belt on a Honda minivan since they are like $700. If the owner seems likely to have done generally consistent maintenance, I'm ok with it. I will do all of the fluid maintenance as soon as I buy it anyways and start with that. I haven't bought a bike yet with great records. My BMW needed a new crown bearing and the brake calipers rebuilt shortly after I bought it though. Been fine otherwise.
    #23
  4. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day. Supporter

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    I keep no records. Label maker tape with oil change mileage stuck to the steering head on street bikes. Paint marker on engine case of dirt bikes, or filter of tractors. Other service gets done when the owners manual say to.

    BTW. Some buyers think these records mean something when buying a used bike. Well my wife bought a bike from a fellow that had a book that he recorded EVERY time filled it with gas with the gallons and price, EVERY time he washed it, EVERY time he even checked the chain. EVERY receipt and all the farkle info. After she rode it home she said the handle bars moved forward when she braked. He had installed the wrong bolts when installing the bar risers and they bottomed out before tightening the clamp. The chain was strum tight with the suspension at rest. He didn't shorten any of the wires from the GPS and battery tender install, they were all wadded up pinching between the fork tube and frame way before full lock.
    So just because someone logged the work doesn't mean they did the work correctly.
    #24
  5. runpet

    runpet Been here awhile

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    I keep records of my maintenance on a piece of cardboard taped to my garage wall. I don't have a cell phone. I know. I know. Get with the times. Oil changes, valve adjustments, tires, chains and sprockets, etc. Keep all my receipts too. Plus many photos. Started keeping good records about 30 years ago. Makes a difference when you sell a vintage bike. Buyers love all the old records. Picked up my neighbors 1971 R5(6,000 miles)last year after he pulled it out from under a tarp. It sat there for 35 years. He had every receipt including original dealer paperwork from 1971. 50 years from now your bike will be vintage.

    I can't remember shit anymore so it really helps keeping track of maintenance. Plus taking photos of my bikes brings back good memories. Once!
    upload_2020-11-23_8-40-2.jpeg
    upload_2020-11-23_8-33-45.jpeg
    Some of my memories of some of my bikes framed side by each.
    upload_2020-11-23_8-34-41.jpeg
    #25
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  6. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

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    Low tech for me, scribble something on the cardboard wrapper, shoot it with the fone.

    aug_2019 oil change bike.jpg

    Sometimes when I had multiple bikes at the same time one needed a reminder what the axel bolt sizes were. Yahtzee, just take a picture. One step away from just writing it on the wall. But I maintain my bike in two different locations, so notes in shop manuals are always going to magically end up in the other garage.

    axle nuts sizes VERS.jpg
    #26
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  7. Snowbird

    Snowbird Cereal Killer

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    With two cars, a truck, motor home, boat, two tractors, three motorcycles, two lawn mowers, two generators, and a four-wheeler, I have to keep records. A couple more tricks I use to keep it simple beyond the notebook described previously, I (again) use blue painters' tape (bc it removes easily) with a notation saying when the next oil change is due, "5k mile change due at xx,xxx miles." Usually I stick it inside the glove box or inside the saddle bag of my FJR, etc. that way, when I wonder as I'm using the vehicle, I can find the answer without much trouble.

    I also keep a stack of lids from oil filter boxes held together with a clip and the vehicle it fits written on the back. I buy parts in advance of when I need them and write the vehicle the filter is for on the box before it goes on the shelf. Same with wiper blades, that get hung on nails in their boxes. In all, about five or six different types of oil are recommended. Those get labeled by vehicle(s), and placed side by side on one shelf. I mark a crow's foot on the four or five quart/liter bottle at the level of what remains. When I pour out of a bottle, I know where I started, so I know how much I've put in. I mark the new level and put it back on the shelf.

    These simple steps save me a lot of time in the long run.

    Every time I've turned repair records over to a new buyer, the buyer has appreciated it and it gives confidence to the new owner as well as reinforcing the value.
    #27
  8. zeerx

    zeerx Long timer

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    I have a white board on the wall in the garage with a section for each bike. I note oil, tires, battery, chain/sprockets, brakes, carb settings, and a few other consumables. I can check it at a glance.

    I also keep a tally of the mice I’ve trapped. They did a number on the ZRX wiring a few years ago.
    #28
  9. PineLaneRider

    PineLaneRider Long timer

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    I use the Fuelly app. Its on my phone, dedicated gps smartphone, shop laptop, and also stored online at Fuelly.com. I enter fill ups, tires, maintenance, put part numbers in the notes, sometimes even upload a picture of something noteworthy. Not for resale purposes, just for my own info. I also make life easy by doing oil changes every 5,000 miles and oil and filter every 10,000 miles.
    #29
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  10. Gone in 60

    Gone in 60 Been here awhile

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    Since I keep track of my two bikes and all of the cars in the family, and can't remember what I had for dinner, I keep an Excel spreadsheet on Google Docs. Any time I do something, I just add the date, mileage and what I did to the list. I can never keep track of when I need to rotate tires on the cars, in particular. Under the list for each vehicle, I have a list of the air and oil filter part numbers plus fluid capacities in case I brain fart and can't remember. When I do something to any of the vehicles, I can update the list on my phone or a computer and it stays current.

    I also have a binder for each vehicle that holds spare keys, pink slips, receipts, copy of registration, etc. When I sell something, it's easy to just hand the new owner the binder and he's got everything. On my air pump, I have a label showing the pressures for each bike so I don't have to remember.

    Plus, since I list everything I do, when one of my Yuasa batteries takes a crap, I can look back at when I installed it and grumble "Damn, they used to last longer."
    #30
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  11. viajero

    viajero Too old to be a nOOb

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    I don't keep a maintenance log but do retain all work receipts.
    #31
  12. fastring

    fastring Been here awhile

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    @AdamChandler : I'm curious, how do you track your motorcycle maintenance records?
    #32
  13. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b

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    surprised I was mentioned here. happy to explain my method but I also expected being ridiculed :)

    I use https://www.carfax.com/Service/ for nearly everything I own.

    [​IMG]

    The only vehicle I don't have in there is my Beta Dual Sport motorcycle because CarFax doesn't recognize the VIN. I try once a year to add it but hasn't worked (just tried it again now).

    For Fuel, I'm tracking every mile using Fuelly - https://www.fuelly.com/driver/adamchandler

    MycarFax doesn't remove vehicles automatically after they're sold so I will see new service pop up on vehicles I no longer own but I've gotten rid of them all now since there's a garage limit of 8 vehicles there.

    Here are a few other screenshots:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I don't work in the automotive industry where I hear some CarFax horror stories from some dealers / salespeople but as a car owner, this free service is convenient enough and for automotive service, if I go to a shop, they usually populate the CarFax page for me after I leave so I don't have to add those services like this where the stuff in black is auto-added by dealers / shops:

    Here's my Golf R:
    [​IMG]

    and my Ford Escape:
    [​IMG]
    ----

    For my Beta that doesn't go in CarFax, here's my XLS:
    [​IMG]

    IT works enough for me to give to the next owner and of course track myself. I also request PDF receipts from dealers which most will email those to me and I keep a folder for every vehicle:
    [​IMG]

    In that folder is everything basically

    [​IMG]
    I even have the ADVRider PDF screenshot of the 'for sale' listing on the bike and our private conversation exported to PDF should I ever need to recall something mentioned like a service that was done or issue.

    and that's it. it's not overkill in my opinion because nothing I need isn't there and it's just as easy as keeping up to date records from day one. then when it's Time to sell it, it's all very detailed.

    I also keep "build threads" for every car / bike I buy and honestly, these are for me 100%. I document every modification and feedback from others helps me out a lot:

    (and no I don't have kids)


    hope that's helpful.
    #33
  14. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b

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    Oh now I see why you included me. Please don't make fun of people for liking to keep detailed records. I enjoy it and find value in it for me personally. Judging someone for how they spend their time is a waste of your time. I was trying to be helpful with my response and now I just feel like a jerk-off for you to make fun of.
    #34
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  15. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    What mutation of the human genome brought on these levels of OCD? :)
    #35
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  16. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b

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    I disagree that this has anything to do with OCD. This isn’t a compulsion or repetitive task that I must carry out. It’s just purely documentation. I don’t see OCD and documentation as related at all.
    #36
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  17. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    Wasn’t directing my comment at anyone specifically.
    #37
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  18. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b

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    Sorry I misunderstood.

    While in general, isn’t maintenance records good practice in general? It does seem those mostly doing it are those who have multiple bikes.
    #38
  19. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    I don’t see a need. The used bike or car is what it is when your looking at it.
    Just because someone documents they changed the oil on time. Doesn’t mean the engine didn’t run on it’s side for an extended period. Or the owner rode with a toe always on the shifter.....
    #39
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  20. canoeguy

    canoeguy Long timer

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    Just to clarify a bit on the multiple bike thing I didn’t mean I don’t keep records for my bike. What I really meant is I don’t keep records on any of the six bikes or three automobiles ;)

    I like round numbers and so I service at regular intervals. Everything else I do as I inspect the bike.

    the Ural and GSA require oil in the drive so I just change it every time even though I don’t need to.

    For all the other tid bits it’s a maintain as needed thing as I regularly inspect and care for the bikes.
    #40