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The National Driver BLOG

Understanding Essential Car Services

| 18 Oct 2012 | No Comments

Buying cars on finance rather than dipping into your savings is a great way to keep control of your monthly budget, but if you want to be sure that you get the most out of owning your vehicle, it is essential to ensure you take it in for a service on a regular basis.

No matter how you choose to pay for your vehicle, keeping your car's service history fully up to date will greatly enhance its value when you come to sell it. Potential buyers prefer a comprehensive service history as it shows a car has been properly cared for throughout its life.

Although every vehicle is required to pass an annual MOT inspection once it reaches three years old, this is more of a spot check and it is perfectly possible for a vehicle to pass with flying colours despite having serious underlying mechanical problems.

The key components checked during the course of a service include the exhaust system, brakes and battery. Your vehicle will also be given an oil change and have a new oil filter fitted - both of which help to reduce the amount of wear and tear on the engine by reducing the amount of friction between moving parts.

Checking the exhaust system of a car is particularly important. Should your exhaust develop a fault, your vehicle will become significantly less efficient, increasing your running costs. A faulty exhaust can also release toxic gases both into the atmosphere and into the car itself and this could be dangerous for both you and your passengers. A damaged exhaust system will also corrode and rust much faster than a properly maintained one.

Although most car batteries are now maintenance free, they are likely to need replacing at least once during the lifetime of the average vehicle. This is particularly true if you make lots of short journeys as these put the battery under greater strain.

If brake pads are allowed to wear down too much, they can damage the discs they press against and these can be expensive to replace. Having them checked during a service can go a long way to preventing this from happening.

Many manufacturers now offer extended warranties but in almost all cases, these are only valid if the vehicle is serviced on a regular basis. Should a fault develop that is covered by the warranty but your service history is not up to date, you could be hit with a huge repair bill.

If you're having trouble finding the time to take your vehicle in for a service, there are a number of mobile mechanics who will carry out a full service of your car at your home or even at your place of work. This can be a particularly convenient option if you don't want to lose the use of the vehicle for an extended period of time.

Have your car serviced at least three months before the MOT is due so you have plenty of time to address any issues and never have to worry about your vehicle being taken off the road.

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