A car is a very expensive and complicated piece of machinery. Over time, wear and tear will gradually impact the performance of the average car and occasionally cause it to break down completely.
To get the best from the cars we drive, it’s worth being proactive when it comes to maintenance. By changing a set of tires before they reach the legal limit for tread depth, for example, we might reduce the chance of a collision.
Some kinds of maintenance can be performed on an ongoing basis by the vehicle’s owner. In some cases, however, it’s a good idea to have a professional look over the vehicle to make sure that it’s working exactly as required. This procedure, which is actually a collection of smaller procedures, is called a service.
A service is typically provided by an approved reseller, specific to the manufacturer. So, if you drive a Peugeot, then it makes sense to look for a Peugeot service near you. That way, you can get the benefits of specialization.
What goes into a service?
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When you take your car in for a service, the mechanic will perform a number of checks. So, what are they?
1. An oil change
The oil in your engine serves a number of purposes. It will reduce friction, extending the lifespan of the moving parts. It will also conduct heat, reducing the likelihood of hotspots. But over time, oil can become dirty, which reduces its effectiveness. By changing the oil, and the filters, we can ensure that it’s as pure as possible.
2. Checking the lights
For your car to perform well, you need all of the lights to be working. Checking these, and replacing them where necessary, is part of the service.
3. Tuning the engine
You might think of engine-tuning as something that only racing cars need to worry about. But many modern cars offer significant scope for adjusting things like ignition timing and air-fuel ratios. A good service will help your engine to perform as well as it can.
4. Checking hydraulic fluid and coolant
Oil isn’t the only substance that matters. If your levels of hydraulic fluid or coolant have run low, they will need to be topped up. If there’s a leak causing the problem, it will also need to be patched up. Often, leaks are small enough to be barely perceptible, so it’s worth checking the entire system, from the radiators to the pumps to the hoses.
5. Suspension and steering
Your car’s suspension and steering will need to be checked, and, where appropriate, realigned. The same goes for your steering. These changes might make a sizeable difference to the way that the car handles, even if you haven’t noticed that a problem has been gradually developing.
6. Battery testing
The battery that starts your engine has a limited lifespan. If your battery is on the way out, then the servicing mechanic might recommend that it be replaced.