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How Often Should You Service Your Car?

Scheduling your car in for a service can be a huge inconvenience, often disrupting a busy work day and making your commute difficult. Quite frankly it’s a bit of a grudge expense as well. It’s tempting to put off your scheduled servicing when your vehicle seems to be running like a dream. This is a trap that catches many people off-guard, and can be an extremely costly mistake. As annoying as it is, it pays off in both the long and short-term to properly maintain, and service your vehicle to manufacturers guidelines.   

What can happen if you don’t service your vehicle on time?

There are a whole bunch of devastating problems that can arise if you don’t keep up your regular checkups. If you’re lax on maintenance you run the risk of mechanical failure, and it’s likely your fuel economy will suffer. While you’re dodging your service, you could be spending extra dollars on fuel unnecessarily. One small issue can quickly lead to other bigger problems in the world of engineering.

Your fluid levels need to be checked regularly, and oil and filter changes performed. Lubricating moving parts is also essential for a healthy vehicle. This prevents the build-up of moisture or loss of quality, which can cause your engine to seize up unexpectedly, or affect the function of your brake fluid. It’s frightening to think that a tardy service could lead to brake failure.

Diligent servicing allows for minor faults to be detected early, lessening the likelihood of full blown mechanical failure, and keeps you informed of possible upcoming expenses for recommended repairs and part replacement.

The benefits of regular servicing

When you’re without your wheels for the day and get to part with a wad of your hard earned cash for the privilege, there’d better be a good reason right? An airtight service history enhances the safety, performance, reliability and overall life expectancy of your vehicle. Keeping up with your services will ensure your car remains roadworthy, and it’s also an attractive drawcard when it comes time to sell or trade in your vehicle.

Research has shown that cars boasting a full service history fetch up to 26% more in resale value than their unloved unserviced comparisons. Sloppy maintenance can prove costly in more ways than one, and skipping a service can’t be undone.

How often should my car be serviced?

As a general guideline you should budget to schedule a professional service every 10,000kms, or every six months – whichever comes first. Modern vehicles may recommend longer intervals between services such as every 12 months or 15,000kms. Keep in mind the more modern the engine, the more complex the engineering, heightening the need to make sure it is attended to on time.

For those of us who are always on the road, it seems the need for a service comes around very quickly; but we are asking more of our vehicles than the average driver, and it’s the only way we can help our vehicles operate at peak condition. Your car can’t help you unless you help it.  

What does a mechanic do during a service?

Check the servicing schedule in the manufacturers log book for detailed information regarding the servicing needs of your vehicle. This should include service frequency, when to expect a minor or major service (generally they will alternate), and when parts should be replaced. Follow your logbook servicing to a tee – keeping records dates and account details of servicing and repairs. This will elevate your resale value and ensure you don’t void your warranty if applicable.

What does a minor service include?

  • Engine oil check
  • Air and oil filter check
  • Inspection of fluids (brake fluid, clutch fluid, coolant, transmission fluid)
  • Inspect filters, hoses, brakes and belts.
  • Check and rotate tyres
  • Test battery

What does a major service include?

In addition to all the minor service inspections your mechanic should:

  • Check engine and lights
  • Replace spark plugs
  • Check air conditioning filters
  • Coolant flush
  • Brake and brake fluid check
  • Service transmission
  • Wheel alignment
  • Replace windscreen wipers
  • Check suspension
  • Repack wheel bearings
  • Tuning if required
  • Overall vehicle inspection and correction of any concerns

How to ensure you don’t get ripped off

That’s a tough one. There are dishonest people in every industry and when we haven’t seen with our own eyes what has occurred during a service it can be a concern. Some ways in which you can be ‘taken for a ride’ include.

  • Overcharging for parts or labour
  • Carrying out and charging for unnecessary repairs
  • Replacing something that is not faulty
  • Charging for repairs or part replacements that didn’t happen
  • Joyriding

The best way to protect yourself is to do your homework and make sure you’re across your vehicle’s maintenance schedule. Ask for recommendations and shop around until you find a mechanic you’re comfortable with, and can trust. Ask your mechanic for an outline of what they’ll be doing and why it’s necessary when you schedule in your next service. Ensure accounts are clearly itemised with all works and part replacements carried out during the service, and their costs.
Novus Auto Glass specialise in windscreen repair technology and strive to provide you with the best possible care for your car. Services include windscreen repair and replacement as well as glass restoration and polishing. Call us to see how we can help you on 13 22 34.

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