Servicing Tips - Inspection
Why People Hesitate to Get Their Vehicle Serviced
A recent report stated that over 80 percent of the vehicles on our roads have one or more service or repair that's needed but hasn't been taken care of. Now that's a lot of undone service. With over 4 million vehicles on the road currently in New Zealand, that translates into over 3 million vehicles. Some of the neglected items are minor like a blown light bulb, but others are serious safety concerns.
There are several reasons why we hesitate to take care of recommended services, especially services that your automotive service advisor recommends when you're in for something else, like an oil change.
The first issue boils down to comfort with car care. We don't always feel we know enough to make good decisions. Some of that can be attributed to the fact that vehicles are generally so reliable these days. They almost become an appliance. Of course you love your vehicle, but if you don't have to worry about it breaking down all the time, you're not forced to think as much about preventive maintenance.
Perhaps your dad knew a lot about cars and always made sure they were taken care of. He was very comfortable dealing with his local garage or service center. People who don't know as much about cars hesitate to ask questions because they don't want to look ignorant.
It's human nature, but there's so much to know in this world and we can't all be experts in everything. So we specialize. It's very important to ask questions of any specialist, whether it's your doctor, financial advisor or your automotive technician.
Your service advisor at Oil Changers wants to answer your questions. We want you to understand the recommendation and why it needs to be done.
That brings us to the next issue; people say that they don't always know if they really need the service or if they are just being sold something.
At the heart, it speaks to trust. Do you trust your service center and your service advisor? Trust has to be earned, and that takes time and experience. But you can shortcut the process when you realize that most of the recommendations are based on manufacturer's maintenance schedules.
In other words, "You don't have to trust me, you can trust your owner's manual."
Your local Oil Changers service center has computer databases that contain the manufacturer's recommendations for a wide range of vehicles, so they don't need to rummage through your glove box to look for your owner's manual to know what to do.
Basically, the engineers who designed the car say, "Here's when you need to have it serviced." That's who makes the recommendation, not the technician. He's just reminding you.
Now you do need to trust your technician's experience and judgment from time to time. When he inspects your vehicle, he may find problems or concerns. He will explain things so that you can prioritize the concerns and make a good decision about whether or not to have something done.
That brings us to the third issue; money. Often the concern is about spending the money to take care of a recommended service. Our money has many places it needs to go. And we have another list of places we want it to go. Auto maintenance isn't usually on either of those lists.
Look, everyone who works at Oil Changers has a family budget, too. They can relate.
When there is a real budget concern, your Oil Changers service advisor can help you prioritize the work that needs to be done and come up with a plan for taking care of it that works within your budget.
Let's say that the service technician has noticed that you have a problem with your brakes. That's a safety concern, so a technician can't ethically say, well, just put that off for a couple of months. What they can do is recommend getting the brakes taken care of now and address the cabin air filter or transmission service later on.
Ask us for more details.
PO Box 16686 Hornby
New Zealand, New Zealand 8441
Vehicle Servicing - Road Trip Preparation.
People love their cars and nothing goes with cars better than a road trip. Freedom from daily schedules, new sights and the open road – it's great! But there's nothing like car trouble to bring the fun to a grinding halt.
You can't always avoid problems, but you can take steps to reduce the probability of getting sidelined on your trip.
Heading out on a long trip? Stop by Oil Changers before you head out to make sure everything is in good order.
Let's look at some of the maintenance related problems you might encounter and what you might do to avoid them.
The most common vehicle component to fail is the tyres. Of course, you can't always avoid a road hazard that leads to a flat, but you may be able to head off some maintenance-connected tyre problems.
A good tyre inspection at Oil Changers will start with looking over the condition of the tyre itself. Are there signs of uneven tyre wear? Are the tyres properly inflated? Is the tread worn to the point that the tyre should be replaced? The answers to these questions may lead to a recommendation to balance or rotate your tyres. It may also be time to have an alignment service.
Your brakes should be inspected for function as well as to determine how much life is left in your brake pads. You'll also want to know if it's time to service your brake fluid. Over time water and contaminants make their way into your brake fluid and the system needs to be flushed, cleaned and filled with fresh fluid.
While you're out seeing the sights, you'll want to make sure you can see the sights. Replace your windshield wipers if they aren't working well. And don't forget your headlamps. They gradually lose their brightness and you don't even realize it.
All the items mentioned are part of any good vehicle maintenance plan. These are things that you want to take care of anyway, but they all come into focus as you plan for your trip. They'll always save you money in the long run and may prevent inconvenient delays on your trip. After all, you wouldn't want to miss the world's largest ball of string, would you?
PO Box 16686 Hornby
New Zealand 8441
It?s About Time: Following Service Intervals
There are a lot of things in life that people have to do on a regular basis. We wash dishes every day, do our laundry and mow our lawns every week, and pay the bills every month. We really should go to our dentist and see our doctor for a check-up once a year. When we don’t stay on schedule with these routines, it can lead to embarrassing, painful or expensive consequences.
Scheduled maintenance is also part of good car care. People should take their car in regularly for a good check-up but many folks struggle to remember, or actually even ignore this advice. When it comes to our cars, we’re more likely to listen to “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” than “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Yet it is the second adage that is the more applicable one.
Regular brushing treatments prevent cavities. Filling a cavity prevents a more painful and more expensive root canal. In the same way, replacing coolant/antifreeze, for example, in your vehicle can prevent cooling system leaks. Repairing leaks can prevent engine failure. So why do we procrastinate?
One reason might be that “ignorance is bliss.” We can see dirty dishes on the counter, how long our grass is getting and we can smell how dirty our clothes are, but we don’t notice how dirty our transmission fluid is getting. However, trouble in our cars is like trouble in our bodies—ignorance is not bliss. High blood pressure can lead to heart damage just like inadequate coolant can lead to engine damage. However, we can’t know about either one unless we take the time for a diagnostic check-up at Oil Changers.
Another reason we, as car owners put off scheduled maintenance for our vehicles may be that we are simply intimidated by automotive care. After all, we understand how to take care of clothing, dishes, lawns, etc. Most of us have a basic working knowledge of our bodies and feel qualified to explain how we feel. But our vehicles? What exactly does routine, preventive maintenance involve? Most motorists don’t know.
Of course, our cars come with owner’s manuals that do a good job of explaining what routine maintenance is and how often our vehicles need it, but how many car owners actually read them?
The good news is that all drivers have to do is remember to take our vehicles to a reputable, service center like Oil Changers. Like a good doctor, your Fast & Friendly Oil Changers service advisor will be able to tell you what maintenance and service your car needs and when. The service center can track your car’s maintenance records—just as a doctor maintains your health records—so that your vehicle is getting the service it needs in a timely manner.
Here are some guidelines to help drivers understand the basics of preventive maintenance.
Fluids. If it’s a liquid, it needs to be replaced regularly. Your owner’s manual will tell you how often. Liquids include oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid and differential fluid. There may be others. Check with your owner’s manual or your service center for specifics on your vehicle.
Tyres. They need routine, scheduled care to wear well. Primarily, they need air. But they also need to be rotated, balanced and aligned.
Brakes. Brakes and shock absorbers wear out. There’s no way to avoid it. Worn parts need to be replaced.
Fuel. Obviously your car needs fuel on a regular basis, but the fuel system also needs periodic maintenance. Air filters and fuel filters get dirty and need to be replaced. The fuel system needs to be kept clean.
These are the basics of car maintenance. Of course, there are other parts of your car that need to be inspected regularly, such as the battery, exhaust system, belts, etc. These parts have longer life cycles than your fluids, tires, brakes and filters, and so don’t need to be replaced as often.
If you are taking your car in for the basics, then your service center will let you know when it is time for an inspection of these other things Or they may notice a problem when doing routine maintenance and let you know. Either way, you’ll get a heads-up when your vehicle needs more attention.
If you’re not convinced yet that your car needs regular service, consider this; not doing so will cost you in decreased fuel economy, lower performance and compromised safety. These could lead to pricey repair bills and costly accidents.
Just like a good dental check-up, a good auto check-up at Oil Changers can save you from experiencing embarrassing, costly and painful situations.