What Car Service Includes
A service will often cover the following aspects; engine oil and oil filter change, checks on the levels of brake/coolant fluid/power steering fluid, checks on lighting /signalling/brakes/clutch, analysis of on-board diagnostics, air filter/spark plug replacements. These checks will generally cover safety requirements and because of the complexity of today’s cars are best carried out by manufacturer trained mechanics. A further breakdown of service detail will outline the benefits of some of these areas.
Engine oil and filter change lifecycle will vary according to the oil type used. Modern oils have moved from mineral to semi-synthetic to fully synthetic. Synthetic based oils will generally last longer than the old mineral type and offer a greater range of protection to the engine, an example of which is Castrol GTX Magnatec that can protect the engine from the start due to magnetic properties built into the oil. A professional car servicing garage will use manufacturer recommended lubricants.
An important message to take home here is ‘Prevention is better than cure’ and its suited most here.
Fluid levels for the brake, steering, coolant systems and tyre pressures ( low tyre pressures will increase in fuel consumption) should be checked and topped up as necessary as part of a service, but these should also be checked by the owner from time to time. Lack of engine coolant may result in substantial engine damage to anything from the head gasket to the big ends (this will require engine replacement!). Lack of brake or power steering fluid will also cause problems with control systems which are obviously paramount for driver safety.
Almost all modern vehicles will have on-board electronics which may include auto diagnostic functionality. A properly equipped service garage will be able to link into these systems and gain information of any intermittent or impending problems that may have occurred since the last service thus giving an extra layer of security and oversight.
Air filters need replacing and this depends on environmental conditions you drive in. A clogged air filter will limit air flow to the engine and so reduce power and increase fuel consumption. Spark plugs are amongst the least expensive parts of the engine and probably one of the most critical for engine tuning. Some spark plugs are claimed to have life spans of 160,000 kilometres, general manufacturer service recommendations will specify replacement every 40,000 to 80,000 kilometres. Even if long-life spark plugs are fitted they will require removal and regular cleaning to make sure they don’t seize in the engine.
These are some of many reasons you should select a car service garage carefully and one that employs fully trained professionals who have access to the knowledge and equipment to safely perform a car service for you.
Mechanic, Studied Mechanical Engineering in London. established BRS Autos in 2015.