According to a survey conducted by ClickMechanic, two in every five motorists admit to ignoring their manufacturer’s schedule when it comes to having parts replaced in their cars. Some motorists simply put it off for a few months, others ignore these recommendations altogether.
Furthermore, some motorists regularly ignore their manufacturer’s service schedule altogether. On new cars that don’t legally require an MOT until the third anniversary of their registration that could mean that there are some cars on the road that haven’t been seen by a garage for at least three years, providing no major parts have failed in that time.
Whilst this approach may initially save you money, it’s a somewhat foolhardy approach for a number of reasons.
Parts have a lifespan
Firstly, your manufacturer sets a specific service schedule for your car to ensure that it is properly maintained and in its best possible condition. They know the car inside out and how each individual part can wear.
Most manufacturer service schedules will state that you should book a car service either every year or after a certain number of miles.
It’s the same issue with parts. For example, an oil filter may need changing every 7,000 miles and a cambelt every 60,000 miles, depending on the make of your car.
Although these can cost a fair amount of money to replace, failure to do so can result in catastrophic damage to your car’s engine, resulting in extremely expensive repairs.
Invalid manufacturer warranties
But surely your engine is covered under your manufacturer’s warranty? Not if they see that you haven’t been following your service schedule. Your warranty will be invalidated and the cost of repair will fall entirely on you.
A new engine will set you back thousands of pounds. If you choose to buy a reconditioned one, which will be considerably cheaper, you cannot be certain how many miles it covered unless you can see the odometer of the car it came from.
If you want to keep your manufacturer warranty valid, you should ensure that your car receives its scheduled service as and when it becomes due. Some manufacturers also insist that these services are carried out at a main dealer.
Main dealer service technicians receive full training from the respective manufacturer. This means that not only can they provide you with expert advice, they will also offer you a high level of service expected by the manufacturer they represent.
Furthermore, any replacement parts used will either by genuine manufacturer parts or be specifically approved by the manufacturer for use in your car. Genuine parts often last much longer than generic parts as they are specifically designed for your car.
A neglected car is a dangerous car
Of course, looking past the actual cost of ignoring your service schedule is the fact that running a car that has not been properly maintained can be a risk to yourself and other motorists. Your car could fail at any time and this could easily result in an accident.
So if you already ignore, or are considering ignoring your service schedule, consider the fact that perceived short-term savings can lead to highly expensive repairs over time.
If you find that it’s not so much ignorance, but that you easily forget to have your car regularly serviced, taking out a service plan not only allows you to spread the cost of your servicing across the year but also serves as a handy reminder to have your car serviced each year.