One of the most frequent questions we are asked here at Pace is “Can I book my car in for a service?”. Of course, the answer is “Yes, you can book in for a service!” Experience, however, has taught us that not every vehicle that is booked in for a service needs a service.
So what IS a service?
For the German vehicles, there is no ‘standard’ service across brands and even models. Each marque of vehicle has its own specific requirements, which have been predetermined by the vehicle manufacturer. These requirements include how frequently service items are replaced, inspected or maintained.
When your vehicle calculates that a service is due, generally after a set number of kilometres have been travelled as designated by your vehicle’s manufacturer, it will illuminate a service light on your dash. This is your prompt to call your friendly team at Pace and ask that question we are happy to answer – “Can I book my car in for a service?”
If you are one of the many drivers who don’t do the minimum mileage every year, we highly recommend that the vehicle is serviced every 12 months. This ensures that your vehicle’s engine oil is changed regularly and the vehicle is inspected, ensuring driver and passenger safety.
What are service items?
Every vehicle that is on the road has service items that need to be either replaced or inspected as part of their service schedule. These items are the vehicle’s ‘consumables’ or components that the manufacturers’ recommend be replaced by the vehicle owner when they reach their end of life. These service items include the various filters that are on your vehicle as well as other components such as spark plugs, brake fluid, drive belts and brakes.
In some cases, the vehicle itself will calculate its unique service requirements, based on a combination of the kilometres driven, the time that has gone by since the last service has been carried out and the number of vehicle engine starts and stops. For vehicles’ which calculate this information independently, their specific service information can only be accessed directly through the vehicle’s dash.
The lifespan of these service items is calculated in two ways – by time or by kilometres – and these items should be replaced as soon as the first circumstance occurs. For example, if your vehicle manufacturer specifies that your vehicle requires a new timing belt at replacement intervals of either 100,000kms or 5 years, they mean whichever interval comes first – not last. For instance, if your vehicle is 5 years old but has a mileage of 43,000kms, the timing belt will be due for replacement as calculated by time. Remember, these recommended replacement intervals are not just figures plucked out of the air at random but are specified by the vehicle manufacturer, who developed and designed your vehicle, with the aim of keeping it operating at optimum efficiency.
Other items, such as globes and tyres, require regular inspection to ensure that they comply with safety specifications. Vehicle ECU’s also require regular scanning to identify fault codes that may be stored and, in some cases, can be affecting your vehicle’s driveability. Your vehicle’s suspension components, exhaust system, transmission, air conditioning, electrical systems also require regular inspection to ensure there are no faults or issues which may affect the vehicle’s safety and driving performance.
So, what is everything else?
If you have a light on the dash, a strange sound from the engine bay, a groaning sound from your power steering, a whistling drive belt, a clunking noise when your turn, a steering wheel off centre, a vehicle in limp home mode or suffering from lack of power or any of a myriad of other concerns, these are classified as a repair or diagnosis.
If your vehicle has any of these symptoms or you feel it is not driving the way it should, give us a call at Pace so you can discuss your concerns with our team.