How often should my car be serviced?
These days, most modern vehicles pop a light up on the dashboard to remind you that your car is due for a service, but what if your car is a few years old and doesn’t include these features?
What happens if you don’t get your vehicle serviced on time? Is there a benefit to getting your vehicle serviced regularly and what service should you get done?
The easiest way to find out how often you should service your vehicle is to inspect the owner's manual.
There will be a section in the rear of the manual, or in a separate book, which lists all the service intervals and which service operations are required to be carried out.
If you do not have access to your vehicle’s logbook, the basic rule is every 10,000km or 6 months, whichever occurs first.
Even if you are not doing the kilometres, it’s still important to service your car regularly, as most fluids in your vehicle are susceptible to moisture and need to be inspected and replaced at specified intervals. Here are 5 fluids in your car that you should check.
What happens if I don’t service my vehicle on time?
Many issues can occur if you don’t get your vehicle serviced on schedule.
Reduced fuel economy, poor driving feel and even major mechanical failures are all possible if regular maintenance and part replacement is not carried out.
Modern engine oils contain cleaning agents which help keep the inside of the engine in good condition, but the oil slowly deteriorates the longer it is used.
Failing to change this oil causes the passageways inside the engine to block up with carbon deposits and increases wear on the internal components of the engine.
Brake fluid is another component that needs to be checked and replaced regularly, as it absorbs moisture from the air, which reduces the performance of the braking system.
Most manufacturers recommend flushing the braking system every 2 years, regardless of distance travelled.
What are ‘Adverse Operating Conditions?
Looking in your vehicle handbook, you may see a mention of ‘Adverse Operating Conditions’ and may be wondering if your vehicle falls into this category.
Continuous stop-start driving (such as courier or constant inner city driving), towing a heavy load (such as a caravan or heavy trailer), or continuous high-speed driving puts more stress on vehicle components, and vehicles operated in these conditions require more frequent periodic maintenance to keep them running efficiently.
Increasing the service operations to every 5,000km/3 months (whichever comes first) and replacing other fluids once a year increases the protection of major components under these operating conditions.
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Finding a passion for cars from a young age, Joel carried out work experience as a mechanic whilst at school before starting an apprenticeship after finishing year 12.
After almost 10 years on the tools and in customer service, he moved into the IT realm as a Data Analyst and In-House mechanic at AutoGuru.