The rule of thumb for car maintenance is to get your oil changed every 5,000km/3 months, and to take your car in for a major service and thorough inspection every 40,000km or 2 years. These intervals are of course determined by your usage and driving conditions.
For example, if you’re an aggressive driver who frequently accelerates and brakes hard, parts like your brake pads will wear out faster and require more frequent changes. The same goes with regularly driving over rough and pothole-ridden roads, hauling heavy loads, towing, and other such conditions that fall under the category of “heavy use”.
Still, it can be hard keeping track of when your care is due for a major service. You can watch out for some warning signs.
The best, and by far safest, way to tell that your car is due for a major service is by looking at the odometer, found on your car dashboard under the speedometer. The odometer keeps track of your vehicle’s total travelled distance.
A car is typically due for a major service every 2 years or 40,000km travelled, whichever comes first. For cars that get a lot of use, such as in the case of Uber/Grab drivers or those who often travel outstation, they will typically reach the 40,000km mark a lot sooner than 2 years.
If your car is a struggle to start in the morning — stuttering and coughing for an extended period of time and requiring repeated turning of the key — you should get it checked out by a professional as soon as possible.
The reasons for this range from spark plugs gone bad to a defective starter motor. Either way, you should get it checked to drastically lower your chances of getting stranded with a car that won’t start.
Dashboard warning lights are, as the name suggests, a warning system based on information from your car’s computer monitoring system. A modern car has a lot of sensors that can detect when something isn’t functioning properly — some can even detect when it’s time for an oil change.
If you notice any warning lights on, it’s best to get it checked, even if you yourself feel that your vehicle is running fine. Doing so can prevent a small, easily repairable issue from turning into a larger, more expensive one.
Not only is this terrible for the environment and likely to make other drivers judge you really, really hard, smoke belching is a sign that something is wrong with your engine’s combustion system.
All of the causes of smoke belching listed in the image above indicate a serious problem with your vehicle that should be checked by a professional immediately. You’ll not only save the environment some damage, but could save yourself some grief by avoiding an untimely breakdown and even bigger repair bill.
Any kind of unusual noise coming from your vehicle should be investigated, as it could indicate a serious problem. Here are some of the more common noises you might hear and what could be causing them:
Any kind of change in your car’s ride quality should be checked out immediately. If you feel any unusual shaking or vibration that isn’t caused by uneven road surface, you should pull over and conduct a visual inspection of your car as soon as it is safe to do so.
You might be dragging some debris caught in your wheel well, or it could be a loose piece of plastic panelling. It might also be a loose bearing or failing universal joint, which will need to be assessed by a professional and repaired as soon as possible.
It isn’t all just engine oil and petrol — your car needs a variety of other fluids for the proper functioning of various components, and the loss of any of these could be catastrophic.
Give your driveway a glance when you’re backing out of it. If you notice any odd colored puddles, you could have a serious problem. The only fluid that should be leaking out of your car is clear water that is condensation from your air conditioner.
If you have trouble identifying the substance, snap a picture or blot it up with a paper towel to see the color more easily. Taking note of approximately where the leak is coming from will also help your mechanic identify the problem more easily.
Brakes are one of the most important components of your vehicle, especially when it comes to safety. Any problems with your braking system could be catastrophic, not to mention terrifying.
Luckily, car manufacturers have anticipated forgetful car owners and have built-in a reminder in your brakes called an indicator. This indicator is a small metal shim that will produce a high-pitched squeal when applying the brakes, to indicate that your brake pads need to be replaced.
Other signs to look out for:
You can also conduct a visual inspection of your brake pads to see if they are worn, or to see if they are wearing unevenly.
Book a Maxx ‘N Go mobile oil change and leave the inspections to the professionals! With every Maxx ‘N Go service, you only pay for the oil — the oil filter, delivery, and labour are free, and you get a free 15-point car inspection to assess the condition of your vehicle.
If your car is due for major service, bring it by the Maxx ‘N Go service center for top quality service in a premium environment.