We’re all guilty of putting things off until they can’t wait any longer, whether it’s a check-up at the dentist or an annual physical with the doctor.
When it comes to getting your car in for a service when it’s due, the longer you wait, the worse matters can be, so it’s not something you want to push to the side.
So, how often should you service your car? This depends on the age of your car, with most vehicles requiring a service every six months or 10,000 to 12,000km, whichever comes first.
New cars may be able to wait a year for their first service but if you want to stay on top of problems, the six-month rule is best.
A car needs to be serviced regularly to keep an eye on potential problems and perform maintenance, just as our bodies need to be kept in good shape.
If you miss one or ignore your car’s issues altogether, the results can be disastrous. This guide will explain what happens during car servicing and why it’s important to do it on time, so you’ll never miss a scheduled one again.
The Importance of Car Servicing
Cars are complicated machines and there are many working parts that must run smoothly to allow us to get where we need to go.
During a car servicing, you can expect your mechanic to look over the car and make sure that everything is in the condition it should be.
They also do things like changing the fluids in the car, check the filters and oil, check that the brakes are working and not wearing down, and replace spark plugs that need changing.
How Often to Service Your Car
One of the biggest confusions, when you own a car, is knowing how regularly you should get it serviced.
The easiest way to tell is by referring to the owner manual that came with your vehicle but this isn’t always reliable, especially in older cars.
The general rule of thumb is to take your car for servicing every six months, but this can become confusing if you don’t drive it as often as the regular car.
Those who drive less might not need to do it this often and cars that get driven a whole lot more will probably need to see the mechanic more frequently.
The best way to establish when a servicing is due is to follow the kilometres driven as this tends to be more specific to your circumstances.
A standard figure is every 10,000 to 12,5000kms which differs depending on the car, and you should be able to check the owner’s manual to figure out the best approach.
Many modern cars come with an automatic function that lets you know when it’s due for a service and this can make the process a lot easier.
Otherwise, your mechanic will put a sticker on the windshield or write in a servicing log to show you the date it was last serviced and when it’s due again, so it’s then on you to follow this up.
Servicing Hybrid and Electric Cars
Hybrid and electric vehicles (HEV)are gaining in popularity in the UK and the rest of the world, and although they come with some modern benefits, they’re not entirely exempt from getting serviced.
As these types of cars relatively new in the grand scheme of things, we’re learning more and more about what’s required for their upkeep.
Over its first five years, you can expect to spend a lot less servicing your HEV when compared to a standard car.
Unlike their fuel-powered counterparts, an electric car doesn’t need to have things like oil changed or fuel filters replaced, so you’re bound to save some time and money.
However, other things need attention for an HEV, like a battery pack replacement or electrical work.
The most important thing is taking it to a mechanic or service centre that deals with the unique requirements of these vehicles so you don’t end up paying for work that your car didn’t need.
The Dangers of Ignoring Your Car’s Needs
A servicing is something that should never be ignored, and it’s important to stay on schedule with its next appointment at the mechanic.
These are some things that can potentially go wrong if you miss a car servicing:
- Issues with your braking system, which can be potentially fatal or dangerous if left ignored. During servicing, the technician will check and replace this fluid as it collects moisture from the air during use, so it can’t be avoided. The brake system might also be flushed to clean it out, which should be done every couple of years.
- The oil that runs through the engine can build up over time and also become contaminated. Having the oil replaced and cleaned out will keep it running smoothly and result in fewer issues with the engine and its internal components.
- The fuel efficiency of your car relies on it being serviced, as many parts influence it. To save money and reduce the amount you have to fill up at the petrol station, servicing is a must-have.
- You may notice a different feeling while driving your car after it’s serviced, and this is how it’s supposed to run. Without regular attention, your car’s performance will slowly deteriorate and not operate as smoothly as it should.
- Having the car regularly inspected during a service means the mechanic can look at signs that trouble is brewing. Major mechanical failures and broken parts will be expensive to deal with in the future if they’re not tended to at the early stages.
Simple Checks You Can Do Yourself
The mechanic isn’t the only one responsible for keeping an eye on your car, as it’s your job as the owner to do some servicing for yourself.
These are a few general things you can do at home that’ll have just as much purpose as what your mechanic does but without any of the cost of a visit.
- Check the tyres and look for signs of obvious wear and deflation. Keep the tyres inflated to the recommended amount by filling them up once a month.
- Look over the surface of the car when you wash it and make a note of signs of deterioration like rust, as well as obvious scratches and swirl marks that can be fixed at home.
- Monitor the levels of coolant in the car and top them up if possible, or make a note to have it done at the next servicing.
- Check the oil levels in the car so you can prevent premature wearing down of the engine due to lack of lubrication.
Regular Servicing For A Trouble-Free Car
Owning a car can be an expensive business, but potential problems are exasperated when we don’t take them in for regular check-ups and servicing.
This is one simple thing you can do to keep your pride and joy in good shape and save yourself from expensive issues in the future, so make sure don’t forget to book in your car’s next servicing.
Cars require a lot of ongoing maintenance to keep them running smoothly, and most of it is done as a precautionary measure to prevent bigger problems from occurring.
Servicing your car is one of the most important things you can do to keep it in good shape, so if you have more questions about what it entails, read on to see the FAQs that others had as well.
How Much Does a Car Servicing Cost?
The cost of a car servicing will differ depending on the make and model of the car, its age, condition, the mechanic, and whatever problems were present that needed to be fixed.
In the UK, you can expect to pay around £125 for a service and add on more for additional work that has to be done.
What is a Car Service Plan?
A car service plan is something you can enter into with a mechanic that covers the cost of having the vehicle serviced as per the manufacturer’s guidelines, including both parts and labour.
Within a service plan, you can be covered for items like an oil replacement, installation of new air, pollen, and fuel filters, and checks of brake fluid and gearbox oil.
What Does a New Car Warranty Cover?
When you purchase a new car, it comes with a warranty that covers it for any defects the vehicle has.
However, these warranties are not protection against general issues or wear and tear that occurs with regular driving, like new tyres or replacement batteries, as these are classed as ‘consumables’.