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2015-01-21

Just how important is a service?

 A new year and a fresh start! This is the attitude most of us take at the beginning of a new year, so now is as good a time as any to think a little more about looking after your car and your safety alongside it.

If you are looking to save some money this year, did you know you can save hundreds of pounds just by giving your vehicle the care and attention it needs? We’ve pieced together some helpful info on why you should have your car serviced regularly to help you do just that....

AN MOT IS NOT THE SAME AS A SERVICE

An MOT test and a service are two very different things. An MOT is required by law every year (once a car is three years old) however a service is voluntary – Services are recommended by manufacturers to ensure longevity of the vehicle. So this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have one. Up keep and maintenance on our vehicles is important and can in some cases elements can be identified which might help your car to pass its MOT test.

“An MOT and a scheduled service are not related, per se,” explains Diane de Voghel of the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA). “A regular service is needed to take care of the car and the wear and tear of its parts and fluids. The MOT is a periodic technical inspection for safety – it is not designed to repair or replace worn vehicle components.”

An MOT test basically checks the exterior and general function of your vehicle to ensure it is safe and not a hazard to other road users. A service is more like your vehicle going through a fitness test. The mechanics and internal parts are checked and maintained where necessary. Just like our health, it’s essential to look after the inside as well as the outside.

Essentially, you are not being cheated by taking your car to the garage to have it serviced once or twice a year. In fact, you need the two visits in tandem to have a healthy vehicle. 

HOW A SERVICE CAN SAVE YOU MONEY

So having your vehicle serviced will keep it healthy and well, which naturally means your vehicle will be more economical to run.

It’s little things you may choose to ignore that a service would identify and rectify for you. For example, putting off an oil change can lead to serious engine problems. Oil left for too long can congeal and get stuck. This then means you’re starving your engine of lubrication. In turn you might find your engine breaks. So the cost of a simple oil change could prevent you from having to replace your engine. 

There are many examples such as these whereby small costs, included in the price of a service, could prevent you from enormous ones further down the line.

CAN YOU DO IT YOURSELF?

It’s always worth having the skills to complete minor mechanical jobs by yourself. Many a youngster has called up dad to pop down and help them out with one thing or another on their car. But don’t be fooled into thinking you can complete all the elements a service would cover, by yourself.  Cars are becoming much more complicated and more computerised than they have ever been.

“Modern vehicles are increasingly complicated, requiring access to tools and equipment that may not be easily available to the average consumer,” reveals de Voghel. “It is recommended that vehicle owners trust their vehicle maintenance to qualified mechanics who have access to the correct tools and expertise.”

It’s definitely worth leaving major jobs down to the professionals, who will be insured to fix anything they might struggle with in the process. Completing the elements of a service at home could lead to disastrous consequences and expensive repairs.

 SERVICING AND INSURANCE CLAIMS

Some of us run our cars from year to year, ignoring that service light, and only having work done when essentially required. Did you know that if anything should happen to the vehicle and you need the assistance of your car insurance company, your ignorance toward that service light could return and bite you hard?

Not having your car serviced regularly wouldn’t invalidate a claim, but if declared a write off they may take the service history into account when calculating its pre-accident value, which could mean you ending up out of pocket.

A full and thorough service history will also help you when you come to sell your car and even promote a better price.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I HAVE MY CAR SERVICED?

How often your car should be serviced depends on the make and model. You’ll find all you need to know from your car manufacturer in your vehicle handbook. Most manufacturers recommend a full service once a year or 12,000miles (whichever comes first) and then a short service every 6 months or 6,000miles.

Experts say that a car should be serviced between MOTs too, so most people work the regularity based on this. Find out the service options available from your local HiQ Easy Tyre & Autocentres branch. You can even buy and book your service online at a time convenient to you. Let our specialists take a load off your mind, so you can drive off with the confidence that you’ve done the best for your vehicle, your safety and your pocket. 

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Winter tyres may seem like an extra and perhaps unnecessary expense to UK residents as we do not usually suffer the extreme temperatures and weather conditions as other countries, such as Germany, where it is a legal requirement to switch to winter tyres when seasons change.

Is Your Car Battery Ready For Winter?

Did you know battery faults are a common cause of breakdown? Furthermore, when cold weather hits, your battery is more likely to fail. HiQ Easy Tyre & Autocentres have put together some helpful advice for looking after your battery this winter and decrease your chance of having a car related breakdown or problem.

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