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Getting Your Car Serviced – What You Need to Know

Getting your car serviced can be a daunting prospect if you’re not mechanically inclined. You don’t really know how much it’s going to cost and when it comes time to pay it can sometimes come as a rude shock. Knowing all the ins and outs of what’s required at each service interval may not be a viable option for everyone, however, you can familiarise yourself with what is required at each service interval so that you have an idea of what needs to be done.

Understanding each service into or may seem like an unnecessary chore, however, knowing exactly what’s required at each service interval can empower you to ask your mechanic exactly what they are doing. The key to transparency with your mechanic is knowledge.

Here are some important things that you need to know when it comes to servicing your car.

How Often Does My Oil Need to Be Changed?

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to oil change intervals. The truth is, you should probably be changing your engine oil a lot more often than you are. Even if your service interval is every 15,000 kilometres, it is advisable to have your oil changed in between proper services. Modern turbocharged vehicles go through engine oil at a significantly higher rate than their naturally aspirated counterparts of yesteryear. For the price of having your oil and oil filter change, you could significantly reduce the cost of repairs to your engine down the line.

Some European vehicles have been known to consume oil at a much greater rate than what was once considered normal. One of the easiest ways to ensure that your engine oil hasn’t dipped below an acceptable level is to use your dipstick indicator and a clean cloth to measure your oil level. Don’t wait for your oil warning light to come on before checking your levels.

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What Do I Do If My Check Engine Light Comes On?

If you own a European car, there’s a good chance that your check engine light has become the bane of your motoring existence. However annoying it may be, the worst thing you can do is ignore your check engine light. Just because your check engine light comes on doesn’t mean there is something catastrophically wrong. The simplest way to handle the check engine light in your vehicle is with an OBD2 reader which can give you an accurate idea of why it has come on. Your local mechanic should be able to help you to diagnose the issue for a small fee, or alternatively, you can purchase an OBD2 cable quite cheaply and keeping your car.

How Often Does My Car Need to Be Serviced?

Car service intervals are unique to your particular make and model. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, there are a lot more details that need to be figured out in order to recommend your ideal service interval. Your driving conditions, behaviour, and vehicle usage patternsplay a big role in determining how often you should service your vehicle.

Most cars will have a service interval between 10,000 and 15,000 kilometres depending on your manufacturer. The most important thing that you can do as a car owner is to refer to your service manual to check what needs to be done at each interval. Remember, you don’t need to have your vehicle serviced at the place you bought it. Consumer laws in Australia protect car owners from having to have their vehicle serviced at a specific manufacturer. If you have a service coming up it pays to ring around a few dealerships and independent mechanic to get an idea of how much you can expect to pay for the service.

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