to There are awful times when your budgets are stretched that it can be so tempting to skip your car service when it's due. It could also be due to time constraints at work or your busy schedule at home that you forget it is time to take your vehicle for regular servicing. The risks of having a badly serviced vehicle can be very dangerous.
One of the common misconceptions is that it is okay to leave car servicing for later, and that it really won’t hurt your vehicle even if it is way past its required time. Doing this is not only putting your safety at risk, but it could also leave you with more expenses to pay for future repairs which could have been avoided.
Making sure your car is regularly serviced is different from making sure it is legal to drive it on the road. Mechanics do a lot of checks to make sure that it is road worthy. For instance, if your tire’s tread depth is not the advised measurement or if your suspension is getting creaky, a service will alert you for replacement.
Why Should I Have My Car Regularly Serviced?
Regular servicing is a way to ensure that your car is running in a reliable and efficient mode. A good car service is one of the most important factors that promotes the longevity of your car. On top of that, you can have a feeling of safety and reassurance that your car is in its tip top condition.
When your car is serviced, many of its parts, components, and systems are checked. Thus, problems are detected promptly and repairs can be done before further issues affect other components. This can help prevent costly breakdowns and repairs.
Your vehicle will begin to lose efficiency when some of its important components, like spark or glow plugs deteriorate. The air quality in your cabin will be affected if air filters are not properly and timely replaced. Moreover, potentially more serious and expensive issues like oil sludge can build up if oil is not replaced in due time.
A badly serviced car can make you spend more in the long run.
To make sure that your car is serviced well, you must be careful who you choose to do it. New car dealers and service stations tend to be more expensive than small specialized repair shops. The quality of work can be highly variable. It is always good to choose someone who has been personally recommended to you. Also check for online reviews if available. Compare prices and see who offers the best worth for money without compromising quality. It is recommended that you plan ahead for vehicle service by finding a reliable technician and repair shop before you even need them.
What are the Risks of a Badly Serviced Car?
You might be wondering what could happen to your car if it is badly serviced or has a bad service history. Here are some of the risks you could face.
Driving a car with mechanical issues and failures is a great risk, not only to you but to the other passengers in your car. Not having your car serviced means that your brakes, steering, and suspension are not checked for their safety and efficiency.
Having oil sludge in your engine is like having a gel sticking to some parts of your engine, inhibiting it from its smooth and normal flow.This can pollute your engine.
Excessive Wear and Tear
Having a badly serviced vehicle puts undue pressure on your car, especially if there are undiagnosed problems on some of its parts. If repairs are done sooner, the more you can lengthen the longevity of your car.
Driving a compromised car can result in big damage, making existing issues worse and even creating brand new problems to your car.
Poor Fuel Economy
Car owners would always want to save as much money on fuel. A car that is badly serviced is likely not to be very fuel efficient, thus adding more expenses.
Neglecting the health of your car now can cause much inconvenience in the future. If you think you are saving money from skipping your car service, then you might be faced with more expenses in the future. A badly serviced vehicle can be more costly in the end.
How Often Should My Car Be Serviced?
The best way to learn how to provide the best maintenance for your car is through the car’s service manual. This was written by the factory representatives who were responsible for designing and building your vehicle. It is just reasonable to say that they know best. Avoiding unnecessary service is a great way to minimize the risks of having a badly serviced vehicle.
If your car is not more than three years old and has not traveled more than 36,000 miles, mechanical issues are usually covered by your warranty. However, this does not include wear and tear issues like problems in tires and brake pads. You will still have to pay for routine maintenance of your vehicle to include oil change and various checks. Usually by the time your warranty runs out, routine maintenance becomes more thorough and expensive.
Most car owners commonly turn out to be aware of the need for routine maintenance at a set mileage intervals. These intervals are described in the owner's manual. Some car dealerships may recommend changing oil every 3,000 miles, but this might not be what is needed by your vehicle. Again, always go back to the user’s manual for correct scheduled car maintenance intervals.
Some cars will even have a reminder display showing that a service (usually an oil change) is required at a mileage point. Other vehicles will use a “maintenance minder,” which will only light up when the work is without a doubt required. A computer in the car's engine makes a calculation based on a variety of factors that greatly determine the point at which oil starts to break down.
What is Done in a Car Service?
When you take your car for a service, a mechanic will look at the condition of your vehicle and check parts for wear and tear. Usually, they will check the brakes, oil, engine belt, and filters. As part of the service, the oil filter is usually replaced. If there are other car parts that need replacement, you will be advised to do so. This way, you are able to spot any minor issues in your car before they get worse and fix them before they become a reason for your car to breakdown.
All services will also involve visual checks to your car’s wheels and exterior. The brakes and gearbox will also be checked to make sure that they are in good working condition.
Here are some of the car parts that are checked during a car service.
Oil and oil filter
Your oil and oil filter need changing on a regular basis. This is because as an engine runs, small particles of metal, dirt, and carbon end up in the oil. This can cause excessive wear on the engine. In the past, it was a rule of thumb to change the traditional non-synthetic oil every 3,000 miles. Nowadays, most cars use synthetic oil which can be safely used between 5,000 and 10,000 miles.
When your car’s air filter gets clogged, it would be harder for your engine to breathe. This could have an adverse impact on its performance. It is relatively safe to use your filter until 30,000 miles; however, if you usually park or drive in a dusty environment, it is recommended that you change the filter after 15,000 miles to avoid the risks of having a badly serviced vehicle.
Once your car’s fuel filter gets blocked, your engine will be greatly affected. It can run rough or stop running altogether. Manufacturer’s suggestions largely vary on changing fuel filters, but most recommend changing your filter as early as 30,000 miles. To get a clearer idea, ask your mechanic to do a pressure test to gauge the health of your fuel filter.
Brake pads are expected to wear out after a period of use. Once it makes screeching noises, it is usually an indication that it needs to be replaced. Having the brake pads checked on a regular basis is vital for safe driving.
Your brakes are engaged through a hydraulic system. In the incident when the fluid in that system is contaminated by water, its boiling point decreases. It can then turn to gas, and gas is compressible. This is the reason for having a squishy brake pedal. It is vital that your brakes work in great condition all the time. To ensure this, most manufacturers recommend replacing your car’s brake fluid every 20,000 to 45,000 miles.
Low transmission fluid levels will often result in shifting problems and can even burn up the transmission. It is essential to check your car’s transmission fluid regularly rather than rely on a specific mileage marker. An indication of a healthy fluid will be its pink color and sweet smell. Bad quality transmission fluid will be dark red, brown and smell burnt. Most cars will keep a transmission fluid dipstick at the back part of the engine bay. Some cars do not have a dipstick for transmission fluid at all. Instead, there will be a warning light shown on the dashboard. Choose a good place to avoid the risks of having a badly serviced vehicle transmission fluid.
Your car’s coolant is a mix of water and antifreeze which flows through your car radiator, thus cooling your car. If you use and lose too much coolant, your car’s engine could overheat. When your car is serviced, the mechanic will usually check the coolant levels and replace if it need be.
Spark Plugs and Ignition System
In case your ignition system fails, you may get a check engine warning light on your dashboard. The mechanic can check your car’s computer and be able to diagnose what needs to be changed. Most modern cars use iridium or titanium spark plugs, which mostly last up to 100,000 miles, depending on the type of plug. Cheaper plugs tend to last for a shorter period.
Top Tips to Remember in Having Your Car Serviced
Once you have set up an appointment for car service at a car dealership service department, here are some important things to keep in mind to avoid the risks of having a badly serviced vehicle.
- Find your maintenance schedule. You can find this in your user's manual or do a quick search on the internet. By adhering to a car maintenance schedule, you can help prevent serious car problems before they occur. Moreover, you can keep a detailed record of your vehicle’s maintenance history. This can help boost your car’s resale value, should you decide to sell it in the future.
- Tell the service department what is actually needed, as recommended in your user’s manual.
- Be ready for the upsell. The service advisor will probably recommend some extra things to do in your car which were not indicated in the manual. He might recommend a fluid change or replacement of some parts. Always ask if the repairs are necessary or immediate for safety purposes. Otherwise, do not hesitate to say if you would like to hold it off until your next appointment.
Conclusion on The Risks of Having a Badly Serviced Vehicle
Having your car properly maintained yields a lot of benefits. It is vital to have your vehicle serviced in order to keep you safe on the road. There are also many other risks of having a badly serviced vehicle which can impact the efficiency and longevity of your car. Timely detection of any problems in your vehicle can prevent further damage and more expenses in the future. Over all, the risks of failing to have your vehicle serviced on a regular basis are simply not worth it.