Getting your car serviced each year – and maintaining it between services – is money well spent and can saves you a lot of money in the long run. Problems are likely to be caught early on when they’re cheaper to fix, and your car will have a better resale value and longer life.
A well-maintained car is also more efficient, so you’ll save money on fuel as well. An un-serviced vehicle is likely to have a shorter life expectancy and higher fuel costs, whilst potentially being more unsafe If you have a warranty that you need to claim on you’ll normally have to show that you’ve got a complete service record as well otherwise some warranties will not pay out.
The regularity of your car’s service depends on the make and model, not to mention your own usage. Consult your owner’s manual if you’re in any doubt. However, experts say that a car should be serviced between MOTs, so at least once a year. If you drive an older car or tend to rack up a high annual mileage, your car may require more regular servicing.
Get to know your car’s service manual
Your car’s service manual is the key to keeping your vehicle in good repair. Written by the people who designed and built your car, this should show:
- how often you’ll need to get your car serviced
- how often regular maintenance tasks need to be carried out – for example, oil changes, brake fluid changes etc
- when the car’s replaceable parts might need to be changed – for example cambelt, air filter, pollen filter etc
It’s also a good idea to use the service manual to plan ahead for the cost of your car’s maintenance and repair bills.
To avoid spending money on your car unnecessarily, always follow the schedule in the service manual. For example, many dealerships and quick oil change chains will typically recommend an oil change twice as often as your car needs.
Watch out for dashboard messages
Most cars now have dashboard warning messages about a wide range of topics, including issues with the braking system, engine, oil and coolant levels, and tyre pressure. Your car owner’s manual will explain what each lit-up warning message means and what you need to do. Otherwise if you are unsure just give us a call or pop in anytime.
Some of the messages are particularly urgent and they mean you need to pull off the road and stop the engine immediately.
So if you see a lit-up warning message, always check it out straight away. It may be nothing to worry about or it could save you hefty repair costs at a later point or even prevent you from breaking down.
The cost of skipping servicing
When money’s short it can be tempting to skip servicing your car. But if you do this you run the risk of damaging your car and much bigger bills down the line.
The average cost of a basic car service is around £125 – far less than the cost of having to replace parts later because of damage through poor maintenance.
- engine exchange – £2,575
- cylinder head gasket – £520
- radiator – £430
- water pump – £240
(Source: Motor Codes website, June 2014)
Keep an eye on the cambelt
Check your service manual to find out when your car is next due to have its cambelt (the camshaft drive belt or timing belt) replaced. This varies from car to car, but is often needed at around 60,000 to 80,000 miles or 4 to 10 years which ever comes first. Some cars don’t have these and have timing chains instead if you are not sure which your car has either check your manual or simply give us a call and we can let you know.
Cambelt replacements can seem expensive (as much as £350 or more) but if it fails while you’re driving, you could face serious engine damage that could cost a whole lot more to fix than changing it when recommended so please don’t skip having it done.
AN MOT IS NOT THE SAME AS A SERVICE
Most people will think that a service is just an MOT by another name and feel cheated that there car has a paid check up twice yearly. However, the two actually perform very different functions.
An MOT and a scheduled service are not related. A regular service is needed to take care of the car and the wear and tear of its parts and fluids and to maintain the vehicle to a high level.. The MOT is a periodic technical inspection for safey check – it is not designed to repair or replace worn vehicle components simply check that it is safe for the public highways.
It’s perhaps useful to use the comparison of a vaguely inebriated man – the MOT would check he could walk and talk and get himself home without endangering himself and others. The service, however, would ply that man with coffee until he was sober, put him through an intensive fitness programme, then give careful consideration to providing a new liver.
Essentially, you are not being cheated by taking your car to the garage twice a year. In fact, you need the two visits in tandem to have a safe, reliable and healthy vehicle.
Here at Threeways garage serving starts from as little as £69 so no matter how big or small the service due on your vehicle is be assured that you will be getting the right service for the best price. If you wish to book simply click on the link or call to arrange a time that suits you.