Is it okay to skip routine service?
It can be tempting to skip preventative maintenance and just take your chances. Routine service on your automobile can seem like an unnecessary cost, a waste of time, and, at worst, a scam perpetuated by those nasty auto mechanics. Did you ever wonder: what would happen if you just didn’t perform preventative maintenance on your vehicle?
High Costs and Major Breakdowns
The short answer is: a lot of bad things. Basically, by neglecting routine maintenance that can be budgeted into predictable expenses, you’re opening yourself to an almost guaranteed major breakdown and unexpected high-cost repair bill. This is in addition to the greater inconvenience and danger that comes from having your car break down.
You’ll also be decreasing the expected lifespan of your vehicle, and increasing the long-term cost of ownership. Taking all this together, it’s easy to conclude that skipping preventative or routine maintenance is not a very wise decision.
What routine maintenance should be performed on my vehicle?
To avoid the issues noted above, routine maintenance should be performed on your spark plugs, belts, hoses, brakes, and transmission. Fluids should also be refilled and/or flushed when necessary.
Key areas in which proper vehicular maintenance is often found to be neglected include: fluids (such as engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power-steering fluid) being low in level or dirty, coolant being contaminated or worn out, dirty air filters, and damaged or cracked belts and hoses.
Initially small-seeming issues like forgoing maintenance on fluid exchanges, dirty filters, damaged belts, and old spark plugs can lead to bigger problems such as part failures, serious damage, necessary replacements, and breakdowns. Specific “bigger problems” stemming from maintenance-neglect include:
- Broken radiators
- Slipping gear shift
- Loud screaming brakes
- Full engine failure
A breakdown can result on being stranded on the road, which costs you time as well as the towing and maintenance prices.
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