Like all the things you care about, if you don’t look after them, there’s a good chance you’ll lose them. The same goes for your car. If you don’t pay it the attention it deserves, it will run poorly, malfunction, or deteriorate and break, and probably at the most inconvenient time possible.
We’ve put together a list of reasons explaining just where those problems could occur and why you should take the best care of your vehicle, whatever its age and condition, to get the very best out of it, for as long as possible.
So, when asking, “Why should I service my car?” Here’s our list of top reasons. We’ll explain why it’s so important to keep your car running at its peak performance, keeping your family safe, and making sure there are a few extra pounds in your pocket instead of a bunch of bigger, heftier bills.
1. To maintain the highest standards of safety
Servicing your car ensures its safest possible operation, providing protection for you, your family, and all other road-users.
You should consider your car service a complete health check. As well as topping up the fluids and changing the oil, your mechanic will undertake countless safety checks to make sure there’s nothing wrong with your car.
Without regular servicing, there are so many issues that you’d never notice until it’s too late. Just because your car drives as it does every other day, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t something showing obvious signs of wear and deterioration under the bonnet, with your suspension, or worse still your brakes or steering.
2. Increasing, or maintaining, the performance of your vehicle
Keeping on top of your car’s service history means that it’s always running with the correct amount of clean fluids and consumables. Dirty oil will add wear to your engine. That’s a double-edged sword considering it’s supposed to be extending the life of your car.
Blocked or dirty filters will recycle impurities through the air heading into your engine. Failing to spot worn or leaking hoses or rotten or poorly connected exhaust parts can lead to your engine having to work harder than it should. All these things will result in poorer performance from your vehicle.
3. Monitoring wear and tear and possible malfunctioning components
Neglect is one of the primary causes of car crashes. For those drivers whose brakes fail to stop them in time, the steering malfunctions, a suspension spring snaps—or an untold amount of disastrous possibilities—it rarely ends well.
A service will spot any area of neglect and deterioration before they get out of hand. Putting those issues straight before they can cause serious trouble is a must for every motorist.
With a poorly maintained vehicle, emergencies and breakdowns could happen at any time. Take care of those problems before they happen, and you stand to save yourself a lot of time and money.
4. Extending the life of your vehicle
If you want to add years on to the life your car—look after it! It’s that simple. Regular servicing will protect all the problem parts of it that you can’t spot from the outside.
There are plenty of things you can do to give your car the best possible chance of a long and healthy life:
- Regular washing, cleaning and polishing to protect paintwork and body panels
- Tyre inspection
- Protecting interior fabrics
- Fixing tiny cracks and chips in any of the windows to prevent replacement
- Topping up fluids in between services
- Exhaust system inspections: visual and aural—look and listen for obvious signs of wear and tear and malfunction
Yet, only regular servicing can spot what you can’t see. Problems with the engine, cooling system, belts and pumps: it’s your mechanic who will be responsible for so many of the component checks to keep your car running healthily year after year.
5. Optimising for fuel efficiency
A correctly tuned and healthy engine will make sure you achieve the best possible economy from your car. It might not seem much of a saving to low-mileage drivers, but regular distance drivers could stand to save a great deal—especially given the price of petrol at the pumps these days.
It might be a surprise to many drivers, but even regular oil changes make a difference to your fuel economy. The smoother your car runs, the less work your engine has to do to get you from A to B—and that means less fuel too.
6. Cutting the costs of your car’s operation
Here’s a popular motoring misconception.
“A service is an expense you needn’t necessarily have to make. Skipping a service, here and there, will save you money, especially if there’s nothing wrong with your car.”
Skipping a service creates a false economy. You might save some money in the short-term, but when your fan belt starts slipping, your brake hoses begin to leak, or heaven forbid your water pump packs up and your engine seizes, then the bills heading your way will be far greater than that of the service you just skipped.
Servicing your car saves you all of the money you’d have to spend on much more serious repairs; repairs you could easily avoid with a little maintenance and expert examination.
As well as those savings, have you considered the additional costs of a roadside emergency? Towing your car? Providing transport to get family members or passengers home after a breakdown or accident?
It all adds up—and in so many circumstances, they are needless expenses that could have been avoided.
7. Being green (environmentally—not adding naivety!)
An efficient-running car will operate at the acceptable levels of emissions, protecting the atmosphere from noxious gasses, poisons and pollutants. To play your part in safeguarding the planet—from adding to smog, acid rain and contaminated water—a healthy car provides a small step towards a far greater goal.
8. Maintaining your service record
A service record is something to be proud of when you buy a new car. Over the years, a driver might lose interest, as their car becomes a part of their da