Since the launch of Sparesbox Service, we’ve been inundated with questions about servicing, mechanics, running your car and getting the most out of your time on the road. We think all of these things should be common knowledge for every driver, so we thought we’d take the time to answer 13 of the Most Asked Car Service Questions!
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1. Does Servicing My Car with an Independent Mechanic Void My Warranty?
NO! The law states that any licensed mechanic, fitting high quality parts according to the manufacturers’ specifications will maintain your new car warranty. The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association has recently published a choice of repair campaign to inform customers on their rights HERE.
Furthermore, the ACCC recently announced that they would be increasing access to technical informationthat had previously been restricted to use by dealers and manufacturers in a bid to make the service industry more competitive and transparent.
2. How Often Should I Service My Car?
5,000km, 7,500km, 10,000km, 15,000km..? Not all cars are the same, so always go by your vehicle’s manual. However, we’d recommend a minimum of once a year, despite how often you may or may not drive your car.
3. I Don’t Drive all That Often. Why Do I Need to Service my Car?
Modern engines are extremely complex and tricky to repair, so a yearly service will prove a worthy investment in reliability, resale value and cheaper maintenance down the line.
4. How Do I Know When My Brakes Need Replacing?
Brakes are one of those things people consistently get overcharged on, with many workshops replacing brakes too soon and too often in the pursuit of a quick buck.
On most modern cars, there’s a dash light that indicates when your brake pads need replacing. On older cars, the pads will emit a high-pitched squeal. Any time before that, your brakes are probably fine.
5. How Often Should I Check My Oil?
For most cars, we recommend checking your engine oil every couple of months. Modern turbo charged engines are actually designed to use oil at a far higher rate, meaning a monthly check of oil is recommended. To check your oil, use the dipstick, wipe it clean and push it back in to measure the level. If it’s looking low, top it up with the correct grade of oil.
6. What Happens If I Miss a Service?
Don’t fret! Just like the workout you missed, we can get you back on track and your car back into a healthy cycle. While missing a service isn’t ideal, the best thing you can do is to address the elephant in the room and get your service done ASAP. The longer you leave it, the more likely you are to encounter problems with your car down the line.
7. What Pressure Should My Tyres be at?
The best place to find this information is on the side of your tyre sticker or in your vehicle handbook (usually on the inside of the driver’s door pillar). It can be a little difficult to read, but your tyre sticker will always advise on the correct PSI for the road conditions and driving style the tyre is supposed to be used for.
As a side note, keeping the tyres at the right pressure will ensure your vehicle drives as well as it can and save you fuel. As a general rule of thumb, we’d recommend a pressure of 30-32 PSI for daily road use, provided you’re not towing.
Still not sure? We have a Beginners Guide to Tyre Pressure HERE
8. What Should I do if I Get an Engine Warning Light on My Dash?
If you can’t find any duct tape to hide the light, we recommend addressing the issue immediately. Check Engine lights can come on for a wide variety of reasons, some more seriously than others. Like most reputable mechanics, Sparesbox Service can use a computer system to diagnose any engine issue that will be causing the light.
While this may incur a small fee, having a proper diagnostic test performed will ensure you’re addressing the root of the issue, saving you time and money in the long run.
9. What Kind of Oil Should I Put in My Car?
There’s a huge range of oil out there, and it can all seem a little daunting at times. As a rule, always go by your vehicle’s handbook to ensure that you’re getting the right grade of oil for your car’s engine to perform at its best. After this, it’s simply a matter of getting the best quality oil you can afford.
We generally recommend using fully-synthetic oils as much as possible, particularly in modern engines that run at far higher stress and go through oil at a higher rate.
These oils are far more stable under extreme heat and stress than mineral or semi-synthetic oils, meaning they’re better equipped to protect your engine and ensure its running as efficiently as it can.
10. Does the Quality of Parts Really Matter?
Absolutely! Many workshops offset the cost of providing cheaper services by using low-quality parts that are far inferior to what you’d get from either the manufacturer or a more renowned mechanic.
Ensuring you’re using high quality filters, oil, sensors and brakes will ensure that not only your car runs as reliably as possible in the long run, but in some cases, it will make your driving experience far more pleasant and more safe.
11. Are the Parts Sparesbox Uses as Good as the Dealership?
Always. Sparesbox has established relationships with suppliers that we KNOW manufacture parts to Original Equipment (OE) standards. This means that every part Sparesbox either sells online or fits as part of a service has been tested and manufactured by the leading suppliers, designed to perform perfectly in your vehicle.
12. What Does ‘OE’ and ‘OEM’ Mean?
‘OEM’ (Original Equipment Manufacturer) refers to parts that have been sourced either directly from the manufacturer of your car, or the company that supplies the factory parts for that manufacturer.
‘OE’ stands for ‘Original Equipment’. Any part with this label means that it fits, performs and lasts to the exact same standards as the original parts put in your car at the factory.
13. How Do I know How Much a Service Should Cost?
Good question! If you have no obvious issues that need fixing, we can usually break down your services into two key brackets; Basic & Logbook. As you would expect, basic services are the least costly, usually only consisting of an oil and oil filter change. This service is only recommended for older vehicles where cost is the main decision factor.
Logbook services are always recommended as the work carried out is as specified by your vehicle manufacturer. Logbook services can be carried out at minor or major service intervals depending on your manufacturer requirements, and replace all consumable parts just as your dealer service would.
Most car manufacturers are now pushing service intervals to 15,000km, which is significantly longer than older vehicles. This means that getting your car serviced on time is more important than ever before.