If you're not used to taking your car in for its regular servicing, the process can be quite intimidating. You may not even understand why servicing your car matters in the first place. Then, you'll have to decide if you want a major car servicing or just a minor one. Going through this process, you'll have heaps of questions. But don't worry! By the end of this article, you'll figure out everything you need to know.
In this article, we'll discuss:
- Why car servicing matters
- Whether to go to an authorised workshop or a third-party workshop
- The difference between minor and major car servicing
- How often you should service your car
Let's get right to it.
The 'Why' of Car Servicing
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it," as the old saying goes. While that might be true in some cases, that's not the attitude you want when it comes to your vehicle. Car servicing is about making sure that your car is working as efficiently as it should. So, here are a few quick reasons why servicing your car matters, even if you think there's nothing wrong with it:
It saves you money in the long run.
When you regularly spend money on car servicing, you'll help yourself save money in the long run. That's right; you need to spend money to save money. Your engine will run more efficiently and waste less fuel. Servicing also prevents problems with major car parts like your transmission, so the odds of having to replace it drop down much lower. Plus, your mechanic has a chance to identify problems while they're still small.
You'll find problems while they're small.
As your mechanic services your car, they'll have a chance to take a closer look at your car parts. That's just a natural part of the process, though some workshops will take it a step further and follow a carefully-prepared inspection checklist. If the mechanic finds something that's out of place, they can help you fix it before it becomes a more significant problem later on.
It prevents 'nightmare' scenarios.
When a car part fails, it's usually a minor inconvenience. Still, some faulty car parts can leave you in a 'nightmare' scenario. For example, you might not realise that your drive belt is cracked. If you don't catch that problem, it could snap while you're driving on the road, immobilising your car completely. That can be prevented with regular maintenance, as a mechanic will notice it and recommend a replacement.
Your car will last longer.
Overall, a well-maintained vehicle will last a lot longer. All of your car parts will run efficiently, and you won't experience significant problems as often. You can happily drive that car for many years to come!
It'll be easier to sell the car later on.
Lastly, should the day ever come when you'd want to sell your car, you'll have a much easier time doing so with a well-maintained vehicle. With a clear record of all your car servicing, you'll have a much easier time convincing them that your car is an excellent vehicle for them to buy!
The 'Where' of Car Servicing
Now that you know why car servicing matters, let's talk about where you should get it done. Should you take your car to a workshop authorised by the manufacturer, or can you simply drive into a third-party workshop?
Well, that mostly depends on your car's warranty. You see, the manufacturer's warranty typically covers new vehicles for a few years. During that time, you might only be allowed to service your car at one of their authorised workshops. Read your warranty's terms and conditions, as they might become void if you use a third-party workshop instead.
While there are some differences between both types of workshops, all you need to know for now is that they are both great options for car servicing. However, given a choice, some people might prefer taking their car to a workshop recommended by a friend or run by a trusted family mechanic, instead.
Minor Car Servicing vs Major Car Servicing
Whether major or minor, car servicing always starts with an engine oil change and a brand new oil filter. That's like the 'main attraction' of regular car servicing. The work that happens beyond that oil change is what separates a minor car servicing from a major car servicing.
Minor Car Servicing
Depending on the workshop, here's what else you can expect from a minor car servicing:
A general check of your vehicle
The mechanic might do a simple check of all your car's most critical car parts. It's usually a basic look-see to figure out if there are any noticeable problems.
Cleaning of air filters
Some mechanics might take out your air filters and clean them a little before putting them back in.
Air, gases, fluids
The workshop might throw in a little extra by topping up the air in your tyres, the gas in your air-conditioning unit, and fluids for your windshield wipers.
Major Car Servicing
With a major car servicing, you'll get all of those, plus:
A more comprehensive check
With a major car servicing, you'll get a much more thorough inspection of your vehicle. That might take longer, but it's worth it.
New air filters
Workshops will usually throw in brand new air filters for your car during a major servicing.
New spark plugs
Instead of waiting for spark plugs to fail, major car servicing usually involves replacing them to ensure your engine is running as efficiently as possible.
Coolant and brake fluids
Lastly, the workshop will usually top up your coolants and brake fluids back to full.
Here's an important note: the basics of car servicing are pretty much the same everywhere. However, workshops tend to be a bit competitive with their offerings. That's why the full list of items for minor and major car servicing will depend on the servicing package that the workshop offers you.
In keeping with the times, some workshops these days even offer car disinfecting as part of their service packages!
How Often Should You Service Your Car?
So, how often should you service your car? The recommendations follow time and mileage since the last servicing. For example, you might need a minor car servicing every six months or every 10,000 km, whichever comes first. That will depend mainly on the type of engine oil that they put in. Usually, the mechanic will include a sticker in the car to remind you of when to service your car next.
You'll need to do a major car servicing less frequently. You could do it every two years or even sooner if you love your car!
Are you looking for a mechanic nearby to get some minor or major car servicing done? Check out the Carpart.com.au Directory. Whether it's for minor car servicing or major car servicing, you'll find one near you or anywhere else across Australia! Also, get the best-priced car supplies, accessories and spare parts through our website. You can request for quotes on the auto parts you need through our Car Part Finder.
By Ray Hasbollah