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GM dials back its free new car maintenance

General Motors will now give owners just one free service trip to the dealer when purchasing a vehicle from any one of its four brands. (Image courtesy of General Motors)

General Motors won't be be throwing in as many oil changes and tire rotations with new cars going forward. Instead of as many as three years of free basic maintenance with the purchase of a new vehicle, GM will now give owners just one free service trip to the dealer.

Car and Driver reported Tuesday that each brand's website has been updated to reflect a single complimentary visit includes an oil change, tire rotation, and multi-point vehicle inspection. Owners must redeem the free maintenance visit within the first year of ownership. Previously, Chevrolet and GMC offered two free visits while Cadillac and Buick models came with three years of complimentary maintenance.

Five years ago, GM brands provided four years of complimentary maintenance.

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Each brand offered few details on the change to a single year of complimentary maintenance, but a Cadillac spokesperson told the magazine the move is to better align the brand with rival makes. Audi also offers one year of complimentary maintenance. However, the report notes other Cadillac competitors such as Jaguar include as much as five years of maintenance. BMW throws in three years, while Lexus follows Audi with just one year.

The reduced free maintenance program doesn't affect the automaker's warranties, which the automaker last modified in 2015. Chevrolet and GMC offer 3 years or 36,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage, while 4 years or 50,000 miles is standard for Buick and Cadillac.

READ THIS: GM dealers to offer factory-backed extended bumper-to-bumper warranties

GM cut back its 100,000-mile powertrain warranty in 2015. Today, Chevrolet and GMC provide a 60,000-mile powertrain warranty, but Buick and Cadillac offer 10,000 extra miles.

Buyers can also still opt for a factory add-on warranty to tack on another two years of full coverage.

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