Why It’s Worth Servicing Your Car Annually
The annual car service isn’t exactly something that people look forward to, especially when it comes to getting the bill. However, it remains one of the most important and beneficial things you can do for your car in the long run, as well as for your bank balance. In today’s blog, we’re going to be explaining why it’s worth servicing your car annually, and why skipping an annual service may end up costing you more.
Reasons for an Annual Car Service
Let’s start by considering the best reasons to have your car serviced each year. In summary, the main reasons are connected with your vehicle’s lifespan, its ability to keep you and your passengers safe on the road, and also the fact that annual servicing, despite short-term costs, actually saves you money in the long run.
To Extend the Life of Your Vehicle
Your car’s engine, suspension, wheels and tyres, exhaust and all other connected mechanical and electrical systems work together as a symbiotic and interdependent series of components. If one of them goes wrong, it has a knock-on effect on the others in the chain. When all the components are working together in harmony, there is natural wear and tear but the quality of modern components usually means that the wear is slow and there’s little to worry about.
An annual service will quickly discover if and when any components have slipped out of that harmony and are causing undue wear and tear to other systems around them. For instance, worn belts that come into contact with other components need to be checked, and possibly replaced, as do filters, gaskets, seals, and hoses. By checking the car annually, you typically end up with minor wear and tear to manage and deal with. In dealing with it earlier, the parts last longer and so too does your entire vehicle.
A vehicle that serves you well, and longer, is a more economical one!
To Spot Problems Before They Become Serious
Besides spotting undue wear and tear before it has a chance to do more damage, an annual checkup will in general discover all defects and issues with your car, be they mechanical, electrical, or something else. The key to enjoying cheaper repairs and a better-working vehicle is to spot defects when they’re small and fix them before they become something more serious.
As we mentioned above, the components within a car are an interconnected system, and when one part goes down, it starts to have a negative impact on the other parts close to it. In this way, car defects are not dissimilar to cancer. Also like cancer, early detection and treatment are the best ways to deal with it.
So, the reason to get an annual service? By dealing with problems when they’re small, you first of all ensure that your car won’t be out of action for a long time. A full service on a car normally takes about 3 hours, and a smaller service could possibly be done within 1 hour. If your mechanic’s garage is popular and busy, however, there might be a queue of other cars before you, meaning your car has to stay there overnight. When you’re dealing with minor issues, that’s the worst-case scenario.
If you’ve left your car unserviced for a long time, however, and the components and connected systems have been left unattended for all that time, you’re looking at a long laundry list of needed repairs, which will force your car to stay at the garage longer. In other words, get an annual service if you want to be sure that you’ll get your car back in good time!
On top of that, you also have to contend with the fact that major repairs mean major bills are coming your way, but we’ll deal with that in a different section further below.
To Keep the Vehicle Safe on the Road
Another critical reason to get your car into the garage for an annual service is safety. Perhaps this one should really be top of our list because it’s certainly important enough. A car is only as safe as Euro NCAP and similar bodies say it is when it is working at full capacity and is in optimum condition. That is the goal of an annual service, to keep the car in an optimal condition and therefore safe.
You might think that because you passed your MOT that your car is absolutely safe. Remember that the MOT ensures that your car is safe and roadworthy, but it doesn’t preclude you from getting a proper mechanical service. The MOT operates on different criteria, focusing more on safety features and emissions rather than mechanical health. That’s what your annual service is for.
Imagine thinking you’re saving yourself a few quid by skipping a service (or two) because in your opinion the car seems to be running fine. Then, suddenly, you experience a sudden and shocking problem with your brakes while you’re flying down a motorway at 70-mph. The amounts apparently saved on not getting the car serviced certainly won’t seem so worthwhile then.
To Save Yourself Money in the Long Run
Finally, as we touched on further above, there are actually sound financial reasons to get an annual service. A full annual service, on average, may cost you about £160-170. But compare that to the cost of fixing larger problems that are very often caused by people skipping services to try and save money:
- Replacement transmission: £1500-3000 (manual), £2000-6500 (automatic)
- Replacement catalytic converter: £800-1000
- New alternator: £100-700
- New head gasket: £400-1500, average £650
- New timing belt: £350 or more
Does risking this kind of damage and the need for these kinds of repairs seem worth it when you can get the whole lot checked and sorted for under £200 each year?
Conclusion: It’s Recommended by the OEM
On top of all the other reasons above, an annual service is invariably recommended by the OEM. If you want to keep your car’s warranty alive, then following the service schedule is a must. Think of the annual service as a kind of additional insurance cost. It’s an investment you make to prevent yourself having huge unwarranted bills down the line.