You know, one of the most common questions we get asked is, “Do I really need to service my car so often? Is it really such a big deal if I miss a service or delay it a couple of months?”.
My answer is a resounding “Yes!”. Skipping services does a whole world of damage to your car and in the long run it won’t save you money or time.
One of the key reasons for this is actually your engine oil, it’s a key component of lubricating its insides and it has a use-by date. After about 7,000km’s (or approximately 12 months) engine oil will start to break down and deteriorate, becoming less and less effective at doing the job it needs to do. If it’s not changed regularly, parts in your car start to deteriorate and the inevitable result is unnecessary repairs, breakdowns and even a blown engine.
Then comes the coolant. If your coolant hasn’t been replaced and you go to the snow or other very cold conditions, your engine will freeze over. If your brake fluid hasn’t been replaced on time you’ll eventually get water contamination that will rust your internal braking system.
You can see what I’m getting at, right? Servicing is important!
And yet, servicing is the most underappreciated, misunderstood and neglected aspect of car ownership. People skip, delay and avoid services ALL THE TIME.
What I’ve found, is that most people delaying car services fall into one of these three categories:
1. They don’t trust mechanics.
As much as it pains me to say, unfortunately there are many dodgy mechanics and some that just aren’t great at what they do. At Blue Toro we hear stories every day from customers who have had bad experiences with their previous mechanics. A survey by Canstar even recently revealed that 80% of Australians are wary of being ripped off by a mechanic! Isn’t that horrible? As a result of that fear, many people simply avoid going or put it off for as long as possible. Again, there’s nothing worse as most mechanics will then find legitimate additional repairs because the car has been neglected.
2. They think, ‘I haven’t done the kilometres yet’.
It actually doesn’t matter if you’ve done the kilometres or not, services are based on specific km’s travelled or specific time frames and it’s whatever comes first. This is because oils and other fluids, as I mentioned earlier, have use-by-dates, so even if you haven’t travelled 10,000km this past year, your car will still be due for a service at least every six months (in most cases).
3. They haven’t budgeted for it.
It’s all well and good to buy a car, but many people don’t think of the costs beyond the purchase, so when their annual service rolls around they simply don’t have the money. Then they delay the service and/or cut back on replacing some parts to save cash. This creates a compounding effect as, the more services are delayed and the more parts that aren’t replaced, the worse their engine gets, and ultimately the more they’ll spend on repairs that would have otherwise been unnecessary.
Overall, I would really like to see car owners get passed their aversion to servicing. Start to see it as an investment in the health of the car and their own safety on the road. Because, regardless of why you may be avoiding your services, the fact is that they play an important part in the function, safety, running cost and longevity of your car.
For more auto related tips and tricks, head to The Blue Toro Blog.