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Distance versus time-based servicing: is it time to make the switch?

Distance versus time-based servicing: is it time to make the switch?

No matter the situation – if you’re driving less, more or not at all – it’s important to continue servicing your vehicle as a preventative measure to maintain its performance, fuel efficiency and all its manufacture warranties.

But when exactly is the right time to take your car to the mechanic and how will you know your vehicle is in need of some extra attention? Here’s a helpful guide on how to ensure your car is well maintained for a long and happy life.

It pays to be punctual

Following a regular service routine means you’re setting your vehicle up for success. A simple maintenance check increases the life span of your car, produces less harmful emissions and keeps your car’s engine and mechanics in good condition. Abiding by service guidelines ensures your car is in working order and is safe to drive, helping to keep you and your passengers safe on the road. Just be sure any checks or fine tuning is performed by your vehicle’s manufacturer or a qualified mechanic.

When is the right time to service?

Generally speaking, servicing is due when your car reaches its recommended intervals – these are either time or kilometre-based. Time-based servicing intervals are usually based on six, nine or 12 months. Distance-based servicing is dependent on your car’s corresponding kilometre interval which is typically between 10,000 to 15,000 kilometres.

During this time, you may find yourself driving less and having to switch from distance-based to time-based servicing. However, some of the latest vehicle models have engine sensors which notify you when it’s time to take your car to get serviced, so you don’t have to worry about remembering or marking your diary. Keep in mind if your manufacturer guidelines require servicing once a year, it’s not necessary to do this on a half-yearly basis. Afterall, sticking to a yearly service will help relieve your wallet.

What happens if I don’t service my car regularly?

Some people may be a high-kilometre driver who drives past the recommended maximum distance between services or a low-kilometre driver who goes beyond the recommended maximum number of months before taking their vehicle to the car service centre. Just keep in mind that driving too many kilometres between check-ups can compromise your car’s safety and possibly cause premature wear and tear.

What about warranties?

Whether a vehicle is under warranty or not, all servicing must be completed in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines for that particular vehicle. But if your car is under warranty then you’re pretty much stuck with the warranty servicing schedule. This is because if you don’t follow the manufacturers service instructions, you’ll void the warranty. Once the warranty period has passed, you can make your own servicing arrangements by modifying the servicing schedule to suit the kind of driving you do.

Who can perform a routine service?

Servicing can be performed by your vehicle’s manufacture, by a qualified mechanic or by a servicing workshop like NRMA Motorserve. From logbook servicing to major repairs and everything else in between, the mechanics at Motorserve car servicing go the extra mile to ensure your vehicle is safe as possible for both you and your passengers. Alternatively, you can find a trusted mechanic who understands your vehicle’s make and model and is familiar with your driving habits. Just remember that servicing your vehicle is important – even when you’re not driving as often.

So, if you’re car isn’t getting out as much these days perhaps it’s time to switch from distance-based servicing to time-based servicing. Either way, be sure to regularly service your vehicle to help keep it in tip-top shape and ensure it’s safe for everyone on the road.

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