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  • Time to service the car? This is what you need to know!

Time to service the car? This is what you need to know!

8 stycznia, 2023

Why should you actually service the car? How often? And why is it so much more expensive sometimes? Here we make sure to go through how you can extend the life of the car and how to avoid unnecessary car repairs.

Why should the car be serviced?

There are those who consider it unnecessary to service the car at a workshop. Much of what is done there, you can handle yourself - such as checking oil and other fluid levels, tire pressure, etc. This is true in and of itself, but a car service consists of so much more.

During a service, the mechanic goes through the working parts of the car. Following a fixed checklist, important parts are replaced and other parts are checked. In the service, the mechanic can detect faults before they actually occur, and it is usually much cheaper to fix an incipient fault before something happens than to wait for something to collapse.

There are more advantages to servicing the car. For example, many insurance policies do not apply if the car is not regularly serviced. Many also offer benefits such as free assistance if you service your car with them.

A car repair is expensive – you can avoid them with regular service

By servicing the car, you ensure that it is safe. Lying on the highway at 120 km/h can be life-threatening if something breaks. A service technician can probably detect the risk before anything happens, and warn you that something needs to be replaced soon.

The service simply buys you some time to think about how to fix the problem before it's too late. Instead of being forced to pay tens of thousands of kroner for a damaged engine, you can get away with a couple of thousand to replace a part in the engine that is in the risk zone.

Troubleshooting a car at the workshop is better than ordering a specific job

In connection with taking the car in for service, it is very common to have questions yourself. You may already know something isn't right and want to talk to the mechanic about it. You have heard a disturbing noise from the engine, vibrations in the steering wheel or something else that worries you.

Then don't make the mistake of "thinking for yourself". By that we mean you shouldn't tell the mechanic to replace the water pump because you think the problem is there. He or she will then change the water pump in particular, with the result that it may not have been the problem at all. And then it will be difficult to get a complaint through. They have done what you wanted.

Better then to talk to the service staff about what you have noted. Describe it as best you can, and then let the mechanic do his own troubleshooting on the car.

How often should the car be serviced?

All cars are not built the same, and thus they also have different service intervals. In addition, there are different types of service intervals, the most common being mile-based and year-based. For example, you can see in your owner's manual that the car should be serviced every 1,500 miles or every 12 months.

This means that if you drive 3,000 miles per year, you will need to service the car twice a year. Conversely, you only need to service it every 12 months if you drive less than 1,500 miles a year. You can always see in the car's owner's manual what the interval looks like for your particular car.

Some brands even today have something called condition-based service, which means that the car dynamically indicates that it is time for service. If you have an aggressive driving style, the service indicator will alert you that it is time to service the car slightly earlier than if you drive calmly and carefully.

How much does servicing the car cost?

The price of a service is a story in itself. It varies enormously between different workshops. Above all, there is a big difference between branded workshops and other, authorized workshops.

In an article in Teknikens Värld from 2017, we can read that a service on a Golf TSI of the 2014 model cost SEK 7,900 to service at a branded workshop. The same service then cost SEK 4,347 at an independent workshop.

So what is the big difference? Actually nothing. The service content must be the same, and a new car warranty applies regardless of who services the car. However, there may be extra benefits in servicing at a branded workshop - for example extra rust protection guarantee and the like. It's up to you to decide if it's worth the big price difference.

The difference between car service and inspection

A car service is not the same as a car inspection. You should not neglect to leave the car for service just because it has just been inspected. The inspection really only shows that the car is safe to drive around on the roads right now , while a service checks important wear parts and replaces what is at risk of breaking.

In short, you can say that the service ensures that you have a safe car that works, while the inspection checks – and approves the car or gives it a driving ban. Inspection must be done by law, while servicing the car is entirely up to you.

Car service checklist

What do you actually do when the car is serviced? Yes, in the car's service book it is carefully stated which parts are included in the various service occasions of that particular car. Depending on the occasion (everything is checked and not changed every time), the following points are included:

  • Lamps: Checking and replacing all the car's exterior lights.

  • Liquids: Level check and top-up or replacement if necessary. Oil and oil filter, washer, radiator, brake and power steering oil.

  • Deck: Checking tire pressure, visible damage and tread depth.

  • Breaks: Complete inspection of brake pads, brake fluid and brake pipes. Replacement if necessary.

  • Instrument: Electrical components in the car are checked, such as the tachometer, speedometer, horn and warning lights.

  • Electronics: The most important things are checked for damage and leaks, such as the battery, wiring, starter motor and alternator.

  • Engine: All parts of the engine are carefully checked, including hoses, wires, filters, axles, spark plugs, exhaust systems and more.

  • Interior: It is also checked inside the car. Here you look at seat belts, mirrors, car seats, hand brakes, doors and locks, etc.

  • Trial run: When all parts according to the checklist have been checked, a test run is also made. This is to be sure that everything works as it should and to check that no problems arise while driving.

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