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Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance (PM) expenses in CY-2020 were lower compared to 2019, primarily due to the pandemic-induced economic shutdown resulting in fewer miles driven as many fleet vehicles were idled. 

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Forecast of PM Costs in 2021

The trend of increased PM costs per service will continue as more and more vehicles requiring conventional oil are taken out of service and replaced with models that require synthetics. 

PM Compliance Disrupted by Pandemic-Induced Shutdown

The trend has been to extend PM intervals due to the use of longer-lasting synthetic motor oils, but during the COVID lockdown many fleet vehicles were idled, decreasing miles driven, causing PM compliance to diminish.

Fleets Transition to Synthetic Motor Oil

For the past decade, more OEMs are recommending the use of more expensive synthetic motor oils, which is increasing the cost of each PM service. But the higher quality motor oil also allows the intervals between these services to lengthen, which is offsetting some of the additional per-transaction costs.

Risk of PM Neglect Increases with Longer Oil Drain Intervals

Extending the oil drain interval to higher miles puts it out-of-synch with courtesy checks for tire wear and brake pad or rotor inspections. By extending oil drain intervals, there will be less frequent inspection of these wear items than what has occurred in the past.

Forecasting 2020 Motor Oil Lubricant Prices

The ongoing trend of increased costs per service will continue as more and more vehicles requiring conventional oil are taken out of service and replaced with models that require synthetics.

Upward Pricing Pressuring Fixed and Operating Costs

Fleets are being impacted by a variety of inflationary pressures ranging from higher acquisition prices due to the proliferation of onboard safety equipment, to increased material costs pushing up pricing on parts, upfits, and replacement tires.