Home   >   Search: Auto Parts & Accessories   >   Joem Autoparts Ltd.   >   Articles   >   Tips on servicing and maintaining your car

Tips on servicing and maintaining your car

by Joem Autoparts Ltd.

Share this

If you look after your car properly, you'll be less likely to get hefty repair bills in the future. Find out why your car's service manual is your best guide, and get a fair price

How often should a car be serviced?

To keep your vehicle in the best possible condition it should typically be serviced every year.

However, there are some age and mileage milestones you need to be aware of. For example, the distance you can cover between oil changes.

These are shown in the vehicle's manual, along with the tasks needed to be done.


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 in the long run. 

Get to know your car's service manual

Your car's 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.
  • When the car's replaceable parts might need changing.
  • How often regular maintenance tasks need to be carried out – for example, oil changes.

It's also a good idea to use the service manual to plan 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.

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 tyre pressure.

Your car owner's manual will explain what each lit-up warning message means and what needs to be done.

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

When you see a lit-up warning message, always check it out straight away.

It could save you hefty repair bills later, or even prevent you being a danger to other motorists and pedestrians.


The cost of skipping servicing

When money's short it can be tempting to skip servicing your car. But if you do this you risk much bigger bills later on.

The cost of a service is far less than the cost of having to replace parts later on because of damage through poor maintenance.

Keep an eye on the cambelt

Check your manual to find out when your car is next due to have its cambelt (the camshaft drive belt or timing belt) replaced.

This varies from engine to engine. Due to Malta's start-stop driving, the recommendations are to replace the cambelt kit at around 60,000kms.

Cambelt replacement can seem expensive but if it fails whilst you're driving, you could face serious engine damage costing far more to fix than changing it at the  recommended interval 

Look after your tyres

Caring for your car's tyres will not only save you money, but also keep it safe to drive.

If your tyres are in poor condition they could blow out on a busy road or lose traction in poor weather conditions and cause a crash.

Stick to the recommended tyre pressures in your manual and check them regularly.

Tyres over or under pressure, wear unevenly and will need to be replaced sooner.

Another cause of uneven tyre wear is the tracking being out of alignment. This would need to be checked and rectified if need be.  

Tips for getting a fair price

Before contacting the garage, check in the service manual about the type of service your car needs (for example, 12,000-mile or 1-year) and the checks and tasks this should include.

Make sure the grade of oil used is that shown in your car's service manual.

On a last note

The difference between a quotation and an estimate:

A quotation is a promise to do the work at the price agreed, so you'll normally have to pay this quoted price.

An estimate is what the garage thinks the work is going to cost before they start it – the final cost can be more or less than this, depending on what they find when they carry out the work.

Would you like to learn more? Contact us by clicking here.