Why Should I Service My Car?
The question of car servicing is one that is faced by every car driver at least once a year. Most are aware that their car requires routine checks based on age and mileage. However, in times of economic hardship and uncertainty many will question if the car service is worth the cost and even if it is necessary at all. Car manufacturers will tell you that a routine service is important, so lets try and understand the reasons behind servicing your car.
Keep your car running efficientlyA routine service is like a health check-up for your car. It keeps things running efficiently and effectively. It is also a great way of checking the safety of your vehicle. A qualified garage will make thorough checks of all mechanical aspects of your car, including the breaks, engine and fluids. You can find a schedule of all work to be undertaken during service in your logbook, which should have been provided when you bought the car. Having a good service will ultimately lower your running costs because a car that is not running efficiently will be costing you more in fuel.
SafetyAs your service includes checks to your breaks, tyres and engine you are ensuring that your vehicle is as safe as possible. A trained mechanic will know exactly how to spot low break pads or dangerous tyres that need to be changed regularly. These are not changed simply to keep the mechanic busy! They are changed to ensure the car can respond in emergency situations and therefore keep you safe.
Keep your Log Book up to dateEvery new car is provided with a logbook and if you ever want to sell your car on you will achieve a better value if your logbook is stamped to show the car has been routinely serviced. It gives the buyer confidence to know that the car has been correctly maintained.
Who can service my car?A few years ago it was commonly thought that until a car was at least 3 years old it had to be serviced by the main dealer in order to validate the warranty. However, this is no longer the case. You are now entitled to use a non-franchised garage without invalidating the warranty meaning you can shop around for competitive quotes. However, if you are spending money on a service you need to ensure that the garage is of a high standard. There is a motor industry accreditation which helps you check if your chosen garage is reputable. Ask your mechanic if the garage has signed up to the Motor Industry Code of Practice and Repair. If you do opt for an independent garage rather than a franchised dealership then you should ask them to use genuine manufacturer parts and ask for receipts to prove this.
Never attempt to undertake the service yourself unless you are a qualified mechanic. You can carry out simple maintenance operations such as fluid top-ups and tyre changes. However, it is really not worth compromising your safety and the safety of your passengers by carrying out a service yourself. You will get the most from your car if it is routinely serviced by a qualified mechanic.