The other day the RAC brought in a vehicle that would not start. The customer concerned was very distressed. It was a new (to her) car and it had stalled at a roundabout. Several people had to help her push it into a local service station.
She then had to wait two hours for the RAC who initially thought it was a problem with the ECU (potentially expensive). As it turned out we eventually diagnosed a blocked fuel filter. A problem that could easily have been avoided – a fuel filter is changed routinely on a full service. She had recently bought the car and was planning to service it at the next 20,000 mile mark. The problem with a new second hand car is you never really know the history. Which is why we always recommend that you bring a new (used) car in for a service and check over as soon as possible after you get it.
This also highlights the issue of regular servicing. We have another owner of a Volvo who has religiously serviced his car and he has over 300,000 miles on the clock. This is the value of regular servicing. Your car runs better. You avoid simple breakdowns and you prolong engine life.
Another thing to be wary of is long service intervals. 20 years ago, most cars needed servicing every 5000 – 10,000 miles. Advances in machining and engine oils mean some manufacturers are now suggesting 20,000 mile service intervals as standard. While that is fine for things like air and oil filters it is asking a lot of the oil. Which is why some savvy customers bring their vehicles in for an oil change every year or 10,000 miles regardless.
Remember, a full service history showing regular services also means your car will sell for more if and when you come to sell it.
Another thing to do is to check the oil, coolant, tyre pressures, ideally at least monthly. A lot of healthy engines can burn small amounts of oil and it is easy for your car to run short on oil. If the dashboard oil light comes on, that usually means you have gone too far and are likely to be starting to cause engine damage.
Coolant rarely drops unless there is a problem, so if you notice your coolant is low, top it up and call us right away.
Another critical aspect of your own monthly checks is tyre pressures. Making sure you have the correct tyre pressures maintains your car’s performance, safety and fuel economy.
Hopefully we have covered everything you need to know about the importance of regular servicing and your own monthly checks. If you have any questions please pick up the phone and talk to us. 020-8455-3373.