No person in their right mind would get on a plane or a train if they knew that the vehicle wasn’t serviced and maintained on a regular basis. Yet, every day, many drivers climb into their cars and head out onto the road in vehicles that receive little to no attention. A car that’s well looked after is safer to drive, it’s less likely to break down, it holds its value better, and it will last longer than an equivalent model that’s been neglected. In this article, we will look at the importance of car servicing and some essential maintenance tasks that you can do at home with no formal training.
Why is Car Servicing Important?
Generally speaking, car owners fall into three groups, those that service their cars on time, those that skip the odd service to save money, and those that don’t service their cars at all. The first group of drivers already understands that regular car servicing is essential, and it will actually save them money in the medium to long term. The second group needs a little convincing, but the good news is that a car that’s missed one or two servicing visits can be easily brought back up to standard with a comprehensive car service. The final group may be a lost cause; these drivers often use their car until it breaks down, and then they are hit with a huge repair bill. This is avoidable in many cases; regular servicing can identify smaller issues that are easier to fix before they turn into larger problems that are far more expensive to put right.
Prevention is better than the Cure
This is a famous old adage, it’s true for many things in life, and it’s especially relevant to car servicing and maintenance issues. When you book a car service in Perth, it’s usually to keep up with a recommended servicing interval, and it’s not likely that you’re very enthused about the prospect of spending money. A comprehensive professional car service can cost hundreds of dollars, but the cost of a repair or replacement could be in the thousands of dollars bracket. Suffice to say, getting a car service may not be the most exciting thing that you could be doing with your time, but it will save you money, and there are other benefits to enjoy.
A Well Maintained Car Drives Better
It’s true, when the car is serviced regularly, key systems, such as steering, braking, and suspension, are all inspected, and failing components are replaced. The tyres are also inspected to ensure that they meet the minimum 1.6mm tread depth across the whole tyre. This is important for safety reason, but as an added bonus the car will drive like new when it’s received a little professional attention. Many drivers are surprised at how well their car performs after a service, and they begin to look forward to getting their car some expert attention.
Understanding Car Servicing Intervals
Every car manufacturer has a servicing interval for each car model that they make. This could be a time period or a certain distance in kilometres and whichever comes first will determine when the car should be serviced. Certain car models may even have a car servicing light on the dashboard that’s often shaped like a spanner. When this is lit, or the car has reached the time or distance for a car service, it must be serviced in the very near future. The car warranty or the insurance cover for the car can be affected if it isn’t regularly serviced in line with the car manufacturer specified intervals. When the car is serviced, it’s important to use a service centre that guarantees the use of OEM parts, and the service history of your car must be updated.
The Importance of a Service History
Any potential car buyer will be extremely interested in the service history of a car that they want to buy. When a car has been serviced regularly in accordance with the manufacturer’s service intervals, it demonstrates that the owner has taken their servicing responsibilities seriously. A car with a good service history will command a higher price, and it will be easier to sell quickly.
Home Car Maintenance Tasks
The intervals between servicing are still periods when maintenance can be carried out on your car. Luckily, there are many basic maintenance tasks that can anyone can carry out themselves without formal training. Let’s take a look at three of these tasks in more detail:
Read the Owner’s Manual
Many car owners don’t ever crack open the manual that came with their car, and this is a shame. The car owner’s manual supplied with your car contain a wealth of information on basic maintenance checks and tasks that can really help. There are also details on servicing, details on components and fluids types to use in your car. Before you attempt to perform any work on your car, consult the owner’s manual first. They typically have an excellent index, and this makes it really easy to find the relevant information that you need.
Check and Top Up Fluids
There are a number of different fluids used in cars to regulate temperatures and to provide lubrication to moving parts. The owner’s manual will tell you where each fluid reservoir is located and how to check the fluid levels. It’s a good idea to check the fluid levels in your car at least once per month and top up as required.
Tyre Pressures and Wear
When the tyres are inflated to the correct pressures, they are safer to use, and they will provide adequate grip on the road. As an added bonus, a correctly inflated set of car tyres will also improve fuel consumption figures. The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm, and the wear must be even across the entire width of the tyre. If the wear seems uneven, it’s likely that the wheel balance and alignment need adjusting and you can rotate your tyres to extend their lifespan.