When to get your car serviced.

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Tips on servicing and maintaining your car.

If you look after your car properly, you’ll be far less likely to be hit by hefty repair bills in the future. Find out why your car’s service manual is your best friend, how to locate a good garage and get a fair price for your car service.

Caring for your car saves money.

Getting your car serviced each year – and maintaining it between services – is money well spent. Problems are likely to be caught early on when they’re cheaper to fix, and your car will have a better resale value and longer life.

A well-maintained car is also more efficient, so you’ll save money on fuel as well. If you need to claim on a warranty you’ll normally have to show that you’ve got a complete service record.

Get to know your car service manual.

The car service manual is the key to keeping your vehicle in good repair. Written by the people who designed and built your car, it should show:

  • how often you’ll need to get your car serviced.
  • how often regular maintenance tasks need to be carried out – for example, oil changes.
  • when the car’s replaceable parts might need to be changed.

It’s also a good idea to use the service manual to plan ahead for the cost of your car’s maintenance and repair bills. To avoid spending money on your car unnecessarily, always follow the schedule in the service manual. For example, many dealerships and quick oil change chains will typically recommend an oil change twice as often as your car needs.

Watch out for dashboard messages.

Most cars now have dashboard warning messages about a wide range of topics, including issues with the braking system, engine, oil and coolant levels, and tire pressure. Your car owner’s manual will explain what each lit-up warning message means and what you need to do.

A few of the messages are particularly urgent – they mean you need to pull off the road and stop the engine immediately.

So if you see a lit-up warning message, always check it out straight away. It could save you hefty repair costs at a later point or even prevent you being a danger to other motorists and pedestrians.

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