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About Car Servicing

10 Dec

DSA - About Car Servicing

Prepare Your Car For Service

Most people, it’s fair to say, love their cars but, when cash is tight, even the most diligent owner may choose to overlook an issue simply because ownership and running costs have become expensive propositions these days. So, when the annual car service and MOT date comes around motorists have to gird their loins in expectation of the worst. We are rarely disappointed. Automotive costs can be very high indeed although regular oil changes for instane can prolong the life of your engine and ensure that your car is operating efficiently which will save on fuel.

Another aspect in accordance with the rising costs of motoring is that we have lost the knack of maintaining our own motors. They can be very complex and often now the engines have covers which in themselves can be daunting. Once, annual services could be done at home by any competent home mechanic. Those oily skills are now lost in the mists of time but there are still simple small steps that car owners can undertake that may help to mitigate the final bill when the time comes to call in your local friendly car mechanic.

Step One: Check The Oil Every Week

Once on the ‘must-do’ schedule of every car owner, the regular ‘between vehicle service’ oil check seems to be a thing of the past. Oil is the lifeblood of a vehicle, so it’s important to check it early and often to optimise engine reliability and efficiency. Check it at least once a month – fortnightly is better. If necessary, top up with the right grade as required when the engine is cold. If in doubt, or if you ever notice a leak (a telltale oily patch under the car which, when mixed with rainwater, looks like a dead rainbow), get in touch with your car service garage. At least that way you can pinpoint the issue to your mechanic.

The Tyre Check

Check air pressure in each tyre routinely. You can buy pumps and gauges relatively cheaply that are way better than those at the petrol station. Check pressure when tyres are cold, as air pressure increases as your vehicle is driven and use the pressure recommended in the handbook.

Inspect tyres for uneven wear, as this could indicate pressure problems. Look for cuts, bulges and for anything that may be stuck in the tyre tread. Good tyres at correct the correct pressure will be safer and more efficient, saving money at the pumps. If in doubt, a good service centre can advise and supply tyres.

Check The Glass

It is a fact of life that windscreens can get damaged. Stone chips and cracks are the bane of drivers and the trouble is that any windscreen damage will result for sure in a MOT test failure. Get it attended to immediately. Your car insurance may well cover the cost but a home visiting service will likely be less expensive than a main dealer replacement.

Light Your Way

With much older cars it is easy to change a bulb. Failed lights will also fail the MOT or even earn you a stiff rebuke from the boys in blue. Don't discount a fine either. The problem with modern cars is that the job has become more complex because, frankly, car manufacturers don't want you to do it yourself. This is why some cars have sealed units and owners have to part with big sums of money to replace. Worth checking out though before you head off, with a heavy heart, to the main dealer to see if your local independent garage can help. They may well be able to solve the problem at your home.

The point of this is not to turn you into an overnight mechanic but rather  to highlight that owner vigilance leads to savings further down the road. If your local service centre is forewarned or contacted before an issue becomes a problem, they will be better equipped to resolve it.

And Finally

Routine maintenance and a regular car service are vital to keep your car running like new but your driving is equally important. Drive sensibly and don't push a car to extremes. Smooth driving (this does not necessarily mean slow driving) will help keep your car working well and will save at the pumps long term.

The other issue is other people. Be alert to what others are doing on the road. Be competent with your own driving skills and keep a beady eye on the rest. Cars are great and driving can be fun but the machine is only as good as the maintenance it is given. It pays to remember that.

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