When a garage services a car, what is the information it has access to?

Obviously, by looking at the make, year, model, condition, it can already infer a lot.

Using the information displayed on the windshield or any stickers on the battery, oil cap, etc., the last service date of some components can be known / inferred.

Using the VIN, they can have access to a part of the history of the car (using carfax, autocheck, vehicle history, or similar services).

But is there any other source of information?

  • Most garages have a system with all the cars they service and what they did to them. If the garage did the service and 600miles later they ask you to change the oil because its overdue, i suggest to go to a better garage where they dont scam you.
    – Granny
    Oct 11, 2017 at 6:40
  • 3
    Possible duplicate of "Oil change overdue by sticker. (45)". You are asking the same question as before.
    – CharlieRB
    Oct 11, 2017 at 11:46
  • the sticker was actually at a higher mileage than the odometer read when you bought it? Anyway, again, call the shop and ask for an explanation. Not that it maters but what car is this with such a short change interval?
    – agentp
    Oct 11, 2017 at 11:46
  • 1
    IS it possible the number on the sticker is not the reading at last service, but rather the recommended mileage for the next service? (Even if not, the shop may have interpreted it that way)
    – agentp
    Oct 11, 2017 at 11:52
  • 2
    If it's the dealer, they have access to the car's computer beyond what OBDII will provide. This can give them much more detailed diagnostic information and usually will notify them if the car is due for any recommended service.
    – Spivonious
    Oct 11, 2017 at 13:03

1 Answer 1


I know one scenario where a dealership (not an independent shop) will claim your car is operating under "severe" conditions which prescribe shorter service intervals for thing like oil and filter replacement.

You get extra service visits you probably don't need with the threat that "I told you your car is operating under "severe" conditions, if you don't follow MY prescribed service intervals we may reject future warranty claims." Nice, huh?

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