When properly maintained, today’s cars can deliver years of faithful service. Malfunctions, breakdowns, and unexplained problems are actually quite limited these days. The reason? Because modern vehicles are controlled by computers, it’s relatively easy to pinpoint a potential problem before it causes a major mechanical issue. But in order to keep them running like the proverbial Swiss watch, it’s important to follow a strict car service schedule.
Taking your automobile to the dealership or to a local garage for a checkup costs money. Even if the mechanic doesn’t find anything wrong, you should expect a bill for labor to set you back a hundred dollars at least. As a general rule, interim checks are less expensive than full inspections because they are less exhaustive. The purpose of these regular checkups is to identify potential problems. Finding these issues early could save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars in future repairs.
It should be mentioned that there are two basic types of car service: interim and full service. According to most automotive experts, the former should be completed every six months or 6,000 miles, while the latter should be performed every twelve months or 12,000 miles. Because each of these trips can cost hundreds of dollars, motorists may be tempted to skip them. Some drivers even make the mistake of never having their vehicles serviced until there’s a problem. That all-too-common practice is tantamount to avoiding the doctor until you are gravely ill. In other words, if you wait until there’s a problem to get it looked at, you might discover that the damage is beyond repair.
It should also be mentioned that having a complete service record can make it much easier to sell your vehicle or to trade it in at the dealership. Not having these records, on the other hand, will almost certainly hurt your vehicle’s resale/trade-in value. At the end of the day, performing scheduled checkups should be seen as an investment in your vehicle. Not only can it save you money on repairs, but regular car service will also add value to your automobile over the long haul.
Whether you have your car inspected at the dealership or at a local garage, there are specific items the mechanic will examine based on the make and model of the vehicle you own. Examples of what usually gets checked during an interim inspection include:
- Oil and oil filter
- Brake fluid
- Power steering fluid
- Car battery
- Exhaust system
- Brake system
- Steering system
- And more
Because it’s exhaustive, there’s a better chance a mechanic will find something wrong during a full inspection than during an interim one. With that said, there’s also a better chance he will catch a problem before it does permanent damage.