Ser­vic­ing — skimp now, pay later

Whangarei Report - - MOTORING -

No­body par­tic­u­larly en­joys tak­ing their car for a ser­vice. Not only does it cost, but it may also high­light the need for ex­pen­sive re­pairs. Too of­ten, peo­ple say, “I don’t want a full ser­vice, just an oil and fil­ter change”.

But a few ex­tra dol­lars now could save you hun­dreds in the fu­ture.

Pay now, save later

Fol­low­ing the man­u­fac­turer’s ser­vic­ing sched­ule al­lows a va­ri­ety of items on your ve­hi­cle to be checked, as well as mak­ing you aware of any im­me­di­ate or fu­ture re­pair or re­place­ment work. A reg­u­lar ser­vice can also put your mind at rest by know­ing your car is still work­ing as it should.

Take the cost of an oil change. If your ve­hi­cle uses min­eral or semi-syn­thetic oil, four litres could be around $50. Fac­tor in the new fil­ter — about $15 — and labour, which can be an­other $50. This could bring the bill to $115, not tak­ing into ac­count any ad­di­tional work­shop sun­dries.

Ba­sic ser­vices that in­clude ad­di­tional safety and pre­ven­ta­tive main­te­nance checks can start from $30 ex­tra if you have a petrol ve­hi­cle. A qual­i­fied tech­ni­cian will check all flu­ids, air fil­ter, tyre pres­sures and test the bat­tery, which can cost $25-50 alone. So it’s of­ten bet­ter value to get them all checked at the same time rather than sep­a­rately.

And it saves you hav­ing to take your ve­hi­cle back to the garage. As an oil change is com­pleted while the ve­hi­cle is off the ground, it’s a good time to get your wheel bear­ings and brakes checked too.

Dif­fer­ent lev­els

Ser­vices are of­ten bro­ken into lev­els or stages, of­fer­ing mo­torists a range of op­tions from ba­sic to the most com­pre­hen­sive checks.

A ba­sic or en­try-level ser­vice should re­ally be con­sid­ered as a sup­ple­men­tary six-monthly op­tion for driv­ers who cover a sig­nif­i­cant dis­tance each year or for those who are keen to keep their wheels in tip-top shape.

We’d still rec­om­mend a more com­pre­hen­sive an­nual ser­vice to en­sure the car is checked by a qual­i­fied tech­ni­cian and main­tains a good ser­vice his­tory.

A more com­pre­hen­sive ve­hi­cle ser­vice can in­clude up to 50 ve­hi­cle check­points, so that value sav­ing can be even greater. It takes longer to com­plete, but more vis­ual com­po­nents will be in­spected and ad­justed, in­clud­ing the air con, head­lights and tyre ro­ta­tion, if re­quired.

Car­ry­ing out each in­spec­tion in­cluded in a full ser­vice on an in­di­vid­ual ba­sis will cost a lot more money, plus your ve­hi­cle will be spend­ing a lot of ex­tra time in the work­shop un­til the work is com­pleted. This can be a huge in­con­ve­nience for those who rely on their car on a daily ba­sis.

More than just tick­ing boxes

Ser­vic­ing isn’t just about check­ing items, though. Ve­hi­cle parts need to be re­placed based on the time they were fit­ted or the kilo­me­tres trav­elled. For ex­am­ple, a cam­belt may need re­plac­ing ev­ery 10 years or 100,000km and an air fil­ter may need re­plac­ing when your car hits the 30,000km mark.

Main­tain­ing a reg­u­lar ser­vic­ing sched­ule will al­low a tech­ni­cian to mon­i­tor th­ese items and in­form you about any up­com­ing re­place­ments.

This will help you to bud­get in ad­vance for any up­com­ing main­te­nance work on your ve­hi­cle, so you can avoid be­ing hit with costly re­pairs and re­place­ments out of the blue. It will also help to en­sure that your ve­hi­cle is safe on the road.

In­creas­ing sale value

A com­plete ve­hi­cle ser­vic­ing his­tory has the added value of mak­ing your car more ap­peal­ing to po­ten­tial buy­ers when you’re look­ing to sell it. It could in­crease a ve­hi­cle’s sell­ing value be­cause ser­vic­ing is es­sen­tially pre­ven­ta­tive main­te­nance that can help ex­tend the lifes­pan of your ve­hi­cle.

So, when you’re think­ing about book­ing your car in for its next oil change, why not ask or take a look at what’s in­cluded in the fixed price ser­vic­ing op­tions at your near­est work­shop. It’ll en­able you to see whether you’re get­ting the best value for your time in the work­shop.

A com­pre­hen­sive ve­hi­cle ser­vice can in­clude up to 50 check­points.

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