Regular car service often makes a difference between your four-wheeler running smoothly and efficiently and risking an unexpected and costly repair. Avoiding regular car service appointments might seem like a good economy. But what requires minor maintenance over the year, may amount to an expensive replacement further down the road. The service timeline for your vehicle will depend on the manufacturer’s recommendations but also on the car’s mileage and age. Let’s first explain the difference between an interim service and a full car service.
This periodical service is based on four replacements and four-top-ups. The garage will change your engine oil, oil filter, fuel filter and the air particulate filter. The mechanic will also top off the clutch fluid, power steering reservoir, brake fluid, and, if required, the windshield washer tank. Your service provider will also perform checks on other parts of the vehicle and communicate to you if additional work needs to be carried out. As a part of a regular check-up, they’ll gauge the tyre pressure and inspect the wheel nut torque.
Full car service
Scheduled based on your mileage and the car owner’s manual, full service includes all the points of the interim service as well as some additional checks, top offs and replacements. These include, but are not limited to, air filter replacement, engine coolant change or top off, the replacement of gearbox fluid, axle and transaxle oil and non-sealed battery units. The garage is also due to check the spark plugs or glow plugs, depending on the engine type. A detailed inspection may reveal other parts that need changing, like the fuel pump or the timing belt. Replacing these on time is a small price to pay compared to the repairs when they break.
Troubles with spark plug
When talking about spark plugs, there are two opposing qualities – conductivity and longevity. Copper core spark plugs are the cheapest you can buy. They have the best conductivity and the best performance, but last between 20,000-40,000 miles before they need replacing. Iridium and platinum core plugs are more expensive, last up to twice as long as the ordinary copper core plugs, but are prone to overheating, which slightly reduces their performance. The first tell-tale signs of worn out spark plugs are the rough engine idle and trouble starting the car. If unattended, deteriorated spark plugs may lead to higher fuel consumption. The end-phase and the red alarm for replacing the spark plugs is a jerky drive and engine stalls, caused by the engine sucking in more air than usual.
Importance of tyres
As the only contact between your vehicle and the road, the condition of your tyres is the first guarantee for a safe and comfortable ride. They support and even out the weight of your car on the surface and absorb the road shocks, reducing stress on practically every part of your car. More, importantly, though, tyres are essential for your safety, as they transmit traction and braking forces, allowing you to accelerate in order to avoid a dangerous situation and to stop to the same effect. Unfortunately, harsh Australian weather and scorching asphalt in the summer months take a heavy toll on tyre treads. Deteriorated tyres not only increase your stopping distance and performance in curves, but also increase fuel consumption and carbon emissions. Luckily, inexpensive quality tyres are easier to find today, since many dealers, like the one specialized for rims and tyres in Blacktown, offer financial benefits such as no interest credits for purchasing tyres.
Lifesaving brake pads
What are the most important safety features on the car? Surely, seat belts and airbags do protect the driver and the passengers in a collision, but many dangerous situations are avoided daily thanks to the brakes that work properly. There are two essential parts of brakes – disc rotors and brake pads. Most cars today have drilled brake discs, where holes help in dissipating the heat that reduces the brakes’ stopping powers. The holes also help in dispersing the water off the disc surface, should a car run into a puddle. Brake pads, on the other hand provide friction against the disc rotors, causing the car to slow down. Squeaking brakes are the signal that the upper layer of the brake pad has eroded and that the harder bottom layer is rubbing against the disc. Unless replaced soon, the pads can damage the disc beyond repair.
Even though you may choose to delay the regular servicing of your car, being short on cash or too busy, you shouldn’t let it run more than a few hundred kilometres before parking it in the repair shop. When cars and engines are concerned, the economy never favours the delays, since small costs and replacements can easily lead to bigger troubles if left unattended.