Why Car Maintenance is Important
Taking care of your car is a combination of maintenance that you can do yourself from home and scheduled maintenance / servicing that’s completed by a vehicle workshop.
It’s easy to neglect car maintenance; it can be expensive, it takes up your time and for those tasks that you complete yourself, it can be a dirty job. Some of us enjoy maintaining our car, but for those that consider it a chore and often neglect it, let’s explain why car maintenance is important.
Vehicle breakdown is something we all dread and can be detrimental to personal safety. Keeping up with scheduled engine services either by your dealer or via an independent workshop will keep your engine running at its best, reducing the potential of breakdown.
Oil is your engine’s blood and over time it begins to thin and becomes contaminated. This can increase engine wear and cause other problems to arise. At each service, a workshop changes the oil and checks other vital vehicle components such a brakes to ensure all is functioning correctly.
Along with scheduled services, maintaining the car yourself is also important at preventing breakdown. Always check fluids when the engine is cold and check tyre pressures when they’re cold. To reduce the risk of vehicle breakdown:
- Check your engine oil at least once each month and especially before a long journey.
- Use engine oil recommended by your vehicle manufacturer.
- While checking your oil, also check your engine coolant level. On the coolant tank, there’s a minimum and maximum mark. If coolant level runs too low, there’s a risk the engine may overheat and breakdown.
- Use a recommended coolant by your vehicle manufacturer.
- Additionally, check your tyre pressures each month. Under-inflated tyres can overheat, increasing the risk of a blowout. The recommended pressures for your tyres can be found inside the driver’s door or inside the fuel filler cap.
- Check tyres for damage such as cuts or bulges.
Reduced Repair Costs
Neglecting regular car maintenance can allow for minor issues to turn into expensive repairs. During your scheduled service, a mechanic will spot any minor issue that are easily corrected at the time, potentially saving costly repairs later on.
Additionally, carrying out regular car maintenance yourself allows you to monitor fluid levels. Engine oil and coolant operate in sealed systems and in a healthy car, levels shouldn’t need topping up very often. If you need to add oil or engine coolant regularly, it can be a sign of a leak. Sorting out problems early on can help to prevent breakdown and heavy repairs costs later.
Keeping Your Car Legal
While checking your tyre pressures each month, also take a quick look at each tyre’s tread depth. All four tyres should have a minimum of 1.6 mm of tread depth around the entire circumference of the tyre and across at least ¾ of the central breadth of the tyre to remain road legal.
For each illegal tyre, you can be fined up to £2500 and receive three penalty points on your licence. Take a look at car tyre car tips for a guide on keeping your tyres in optimum condition and for how to check if they’re road legal.
Regular engine servicing keeps your car running efficiently. Oil and filter changes helps to keep all components to operate optimally. As oil ages, it begins to lose its viscosity and becomes contaminated with particles. This in turn can affect fuel economy due to the engine having to work harder.
Tyre pressures also play a major role in fuel economy. Under-inflated tyres can increase fuel consumption by around 2 percent and increase tyre wear by 5 percent.
When it comes to buying a used car, most car buyers look for a service history that has been maintained regularly at the recommended intervals. If there’s gaps in your car’s service history, it usually has a detrimental effect on its value. A full service history can add hundreds, even thousands to the value of your car.