Cars, just like any other piece of machinery, require maintenance on a regular basis. If neglected a car will become inefficient and eventually will stop working – there’s no two ways about it. This is why car servicing is so important – if carried out regularly it will ensure that your vehicle performs at its optimum level for much longer.
DIY Car Maintenance
You shouldn’t solely rely on garage and mechanics to look after your car though. There are a few basic checks that every driver should do, no matter how much their mechanical knowledge is or isn’t lacking.
You can really save yourself money and increase your safety by checking your engine oil, coolant levels, tyre pressure and tyre tread depth.
Although it might not seem like much, by making sure that these four things are as they should be, you will save yourself a lot of trouble. After all, if any of these components are too low, the knock on effect to the rest of the car can be very dangerous.
Even if they do not cause an accident, they will definitely have an effect on your bank balance. Whether it is through repair costs (that could have been easily avoided) or through an increase in the amount of money you spend of petrol – due to the rolling resistance of your vehicle being much higher than it needs to be – you ignore these checks at your own peril.
Car Service Types
Even the most safety conscious driver should book their car in for a vehicle service at least once a year.
As a general rule, most establishments that offer to service your car have three types to choose from. These are (in order of the number of checks carried out):
- Oil Service
- Interim Service
- Full Service
Depending on your vehicle and how much you use it, it is worth checking what is involved in each kind of service. Especially if you are concerned about money, because although it can never hurt to have everything checked in detail, there is often quite a big price difference between the service types.
The most basic service is the oil service. The general checks that you can expect with an oil service are to your lights, exhaust and tyres. As you would imagine from the name, your old oil will be replaced with new and your old oil filter exchanged for a new one as well.
If you drive a lot throughout the year, you might consider booking your vehicle in for an Interim Service every six months (or in between your annual Full Service).
One step up from an Oil Service, the average Interim will include somewhere in the region of 25-35 safety checks on your car – components such as brake fluid, handbrake travel, steering and suspension will be examined.
The most comprehensive service a dealer offers is usually the Full Service. Recommended by garages as an annual checkup, the Full Service will go through almost everything in a car, checking the levels and testing the condition.
With well over 50 checks, a Full Service will ensure that your car performs to optimum levels for the year following your service.
Not only do these service options act as fantastic preventative measures that help to keep your car safe, but when you have booked your car in for a service the mechanics that carry out the work might spot things which could affect your MOT.
If small issues are found, these can be fixed before they turn into big problems that cost you far more money.
Booking a Service
One problem that some people encounter when it comes time to book a service is choosing exactly who they should book it with. With almost every garage in Britain offering to carry out the work, there is a lot of choice.
If you use a local garage often and are happy with the level of professionalism and expertise from the staff, then the chances are that this section will not apply to you.
However, if you do not use a specific garage on a regular basis, you may be a bit overwhelmed. One of the most important factors in booking a service is trust. You want to know that the people who you are paying to carry out a service are reliable.
Traditionally, finding a good garage to book your service with was done via word of mouth. Today though, there are a whole host of websites that are set up to not only offer you a car service, but who will book you into a garage of your choice.
Making things even easier, these online car service retailers include previous customer reviews, so you can base your choice on feedback from motorists just like yourself.
By simply entering the phrase “Car Servicing” into a search engine such as Google, you will find a large selection of online retailers.
One of the greatest things about booking a car service online is that you can spend as much, or as little, time as you want researching before choosing who you want to use. This gives you a chance to spend your money wisely – something everyone aims to do.