All vehicle owners know that they should get their vehicle serviced regularly, and we all share a mutual dread of the process. From the inconvenience of not having the car for a day or more, to the terror that the bill will be huge, or some unexpected nasty surprise is coming our way. The fact is that, scary as it may seem, getting your car serviced will probably save you money in the long term.
It could even save you the crushing humiliation of breaking down on a busy road in rush hour. Last week, we looked at WHEN and WHY you should get your vehicle serviced. This week, we take a look at WHAT your garage might look at.
You should get your vehicle serviced at least once every twelve months, or 12,000 miles. However, if you have an old vehicle or do a high mileage, you can get an interim service at the 6-month mark. What’s more, it is good practice to have a full or major service every two years or 30,000 miles. Check with your local garage in case there is something that you specifically want to get checked out, or if you have noticed any unusual sounds, leaks, or changes in your vehicle’s performance. In general, a full service will usually include the following:
- Check windscreen condition.
- Check seat belts.
- Inspect all mirrors.
- Inspect air filters, air conditioning and heaters.
- Check that all of the locks and door handles are working.
- Change the engine oil and clean the filter.
- Check the coolant system, checking the radiator, hoses and seals to see that they are in good condition.
- Change coolant.
- Check cam belt and advise on when it should be replaced (according to the age of the vehicle or its mileage).
- Check spark plugs.
- Check undertray for damage or wear.
- Check the fan belt.
- Inspect clutch and gearbox (let them know if you are finding the clutch a little lower than normal, or if the gears feel at all clunky).
- Refill clutch fluid if needed.
- Check all lights, replace bulbs if needed (or advise you to do so).
- Check windscreen wipers, horn and dashboard notifications.
- Check battery and advise on lifespan.
- Inspect starter motor and components.
- Check suspension, wheels and bearings.
- Check tires.
- Test shock absorbers.
- Check power steering and transmission fluids – top up if needed.
- Examine brakes – replace pads if needed.
- Check hydraulic system.
- Top up brake fluid as required.
- Check the handbrake.
- Check fuel system; look for damage to fuel lines, seals and cap.
- Replace fuel filter.
- Check the tyres and replace or advise when they need to be replaced if nearing the legal limit.
The above list shows you just some of the elements that a good garage will cover during a service; it also shows you just how comprehensive a service really is. Don’t take the risk; don’t bury your head in the sand: get your vehicle serviced on time to help you to stay safe and save money. For more advice, follow Trust A Garage on Facebook or Twitter.