Regular vehicle servicing
The Importance of Regular Servicing
A perfect example of why servicing your vehicle is so important is the picture shown below.
This engine was taken from a 2007 Toyota Prado with just under 195,000kms on the odometer. The vehicle has seen approx. 4 services in its life that should have been serviced every 10,000kms. This vehicle has missed 15 services and the result of the photo above shows what happens in extreme cases of neglecting an engine.
The thick black gunk on the top of the engine is burnt oil. The main cause of this is from the owner driving the fuel with blocked filters and due to the lack of servicing this problem was not picked up. The oil was trapped in the engine chamber shown and had nowhere to go but to be burnt up from being confined in the heat of the running engine.
This vehicle is a perfect example of a vehicle being literally driven into the ground. Vehicles have many moving parts and if left un-serviced they will have major failures causing many dollars worth of damaged along the way.
One of main safety concerns about driving a vehicle that has not had servicing done for a long period of time is that the vehicle is a ticking bomb for a major breakdown. As most drivers have experienced at one time or another, a vehicle breakdown usually happens when you are already running late in the busiest intersection on your route to work. Another dangerous breakdown is late at night in rural surroundings. There is a higher chance of not having phone reception and being stranded nowhere near help is the last thing anyone wants.
Have peace of mind that your vehicle is going to make the trip by having the vehicle checked every 10,000kms or 6 months. Always drop your vehicle in for a check over when going away on holidays especially when driving long distances. Being caught in holiday traffic on the way there or way home with a vehicle that is having mechanical problems can turn a great holiday into a miserable and expensive holiday.
A service can vary depending on the type of vehicle, what type fuel and how many kilometres are on the engine. There are major and minor services in logbook servicing. A minor service will include the following:
Engine Oil change
The oil of the engine lubricates all the internal functions of the engine. This is the blood of the engine body. Over time, the oil will discolour and become thick with contaminates. The worst thing for any vehicle is to sit without being started for a long period of time. If you have a vehicle that you do not use regularly, make sure that you at least start it and let the engine run for few minutes every fortnight.
Oil Filter Change
The oil filter over time will fill with contaminates that come through the engine. If the filter is not change regularly it will simply be too full to perform its purpose. This will then compromise the functionality of the engine.
Full Safety Inspections
When your vehicle is being service regardless of whether the service is a minor or major service, the mechanic should give you a full Safety report of any existing problems that require your attention. This will save you money in the long run as mechanical issues do not get better with time, they will only get worse. Usually leaving problems causes the problem to affect other workings of the vehicle that costs more in the long run.
Topping up fluid levels
It is important to make sure that all fluid levels are topped up. If your vision is impaired and you have no water in your windscreen washers then you increase the risk of an accident by poor visibility.
Keeping the engine cool is essential to keeping the vehicle in good working order, especially in those summer months. Keeping the vehicles radiator clean and topped up with coolant protects the engine from overheating and can save an engine from serious internal failures.
Tyre Pressures and Tyre Rotation
This is one of the simplest and most effective way to save money. Apart of a vehicle service is to adjust the tyre pressures of the vehicle and rotate the tyres to ensure that the best tyres on the vehicle are to the front. These are your steering tyres and they are the ones that are going to assist the most in the event of accident avoidance.
Keeping the tyre pressure correct the wear of the tyre will be even and therefore the tyres will stay roadworthy for longer enabling you to get the best bang for your buck.
Major services have fuel filters, air filters, spark plugs, cabin filters and brake fluid flushes.
Always have the mechanic check your braking and suspension to keep them in good working order. Queensland roads become slippery in the heat of summer and with the humidity on the road surface when it rains make a small patch of oil into a slip and slide. Good brakes and lots of tread on your tyres will avoid an accident or prevent it from becoming a major accident by decreasing your braking distance.
When comparing the cost of the services for this vehicle over the life of the engine to the completed engine replacement, it doesn’t make financial sense to put off servicing your vehicle.