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When And Why To Service Your Car

Dawid Bakkes
Mon, Mar 7, 2022
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Servicing your vehicle is as important as putting in fuel. Yet, we see people stuck next to the road, or get a phone call asking for help. Find out more now!
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Servicing your vehicle: 

There is an annual obligation to service your vehicle. Most people have a trusted mechanic that they use; whether it is the agent (Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen), your local Joe’s Mechanical Services, or simply Joe who lives around the corner and knows how to change the oil. Modern cars have service indicators that tell them when it is time, but for now, most people have to keep track of the kilometers on their car and service accordingly. But why do you need to service your vehicle in the first place?

There are many reasons that your car needs to be serviced according to schedule:

  • Starting off is your own safety. If your brake pads wear out you could smash into whatever is in front of you, but that is only one aspect. One could also say “your safety” because you never know where your car will break down and in South Africa there are fewer and fewer places considered safe to break down.  
  • For a lot of people safety is a second priority, because servicing your car is expensive and you did not budget for it. With talks of R40/liter of petrol you may not be stuck next to the road because of a skipped service. On the topic of R40/liter, a well looked after engine runs better than one that skipped services. Fuel consumption is lower, and the risk of expensive repairs is also lower. So for the sake of your own pocket, service your car. 
  • When people buy assets whether it is a new; car, home, couch, or even a dog - they want to know how the previous owners were treating it. People are more hesitant when it comes to oddly stained couches or quivering dogs and in the same way a good service history provides comfort when buying a car. So for the sake of your future pocket it is a good idea to get your book stamped.
  • Insurance companies. From all-covering plans to breakdown assistance your insurance company is going to ask for a service history. At Motolek we have had clear cut claims denied as a result of customers not servicing the vehicle as they should have - even when it has nothing to do with the problem at hand. Your aircon is no longer cooling the vehicle? Well you should have changed the fuel filter on time. And aircons need to be serviced too, but there is a separate article on how you could save money by servicing your aircon.   

When exactly should you service your car? 

Different cars have different service intervals. These are usually based on the odometer. For example, at 90 000km, you should replace your spark plugs and at 120 000km, it is time for the timing belt. Unfortunately, there is no schedule that fits all cars, so it is best to speak to an RMI-approved workshop or the agents regarding the car’s required service schedule. As a general rule, the oil in your car gets old and its ability to lubricate is reduced after 12 months, so even if you kept to covid recommendations and stayed within your province, it is still recommended to service your car annually. 

Where should you service your car?

The Right To Repair Act has been passed in South Africa, enabling consumers to service their vehicles at any RMI-approved workshop without voiding warranty agreements with the Agents. This means that you no longer need to accept the R10k oil change that Toyota is offering. On top of that, you can save more money. 

Now, this pro-tip will save you so much money when servicing your car. Nobody in the industry will approve of this tip, but you need to save money in this economy. Compare quotes. Not only should you compare quotes, but you should tell each place you call that you are comparing quotes. This will guarantee that you get the most value for your money. If you are concerned regarding the quality of products fitted; ask that they only quote you on  GUD, FRAM, or Bosch products. Any brand name that has stood the test of time and that you trust. 

On top of that make sure that a full inspection of the suspension, brake, and aircon system is done. 

Everyone should drive their vehicle with ease of mind. Nobody enjoys worrying about what may be happening under the hood. And whenever it is time to service your own vehicle, make sure to call us for a quote!

Book your vehicle for a service or find out more about our automotive products and services, like battery charging, alternator checks and the like.

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