The first post in our series of “How To” will touch on car servicing. We know that service centres advise that you take your vehicle for a service after a specific mileage has been reached and as your vehicle gets older, the distance between your last and your next service gets ever closer, however, there are also other warning signs that tell you it’s time to take your vehicle in for a check-up.

  1. Over-sensitive or under-responsive brakes

Brakes are a very important part on your vehicle and every new vehicle model comes out with new braking technology but, the signs are all the same. If you don’t have a crisp and smooth response when putting your foot on the brake pedal that sees your vehicle comfortably coming to a complete stop, it may be time for a service. Take note to see whether your brakes are under-responsive, over-sensitive, you hear a knocking, grinding or any other strange noises.

2. Vibrations

Any vibration that is not caused by a road surface is a something worth looking into, vibrations in the steering, in the pedals, on the dash, wherever, could be cause for concern. It could be just a loose tyre but it could also be worn tyres, damaged axel and various other “more vital” parts that need to be checked or potentially replaced.

3. A dirty rear-end

Whether its clouds of smoke, leaking coolant or oil, or a foul smell. If your car is giving off anything it wasn’t before from the rear-end, then it could definitely be time to take it to the local car doctor. Leakages from the exhaust generally are a good indication that things are about to go critical.

4. Reduction in engine power or KM/L

It could be a subtle change, or a significant change, whatever it is, if your vehicle seems less powerful on acceleration, its heading for service time. Another important thing to note is that if you are not getting the same mileage on a tank of petrol than what you used too.

The vehicle owner’s manual is a great tool to help you be more proactive in the maintenance of your car rather than reactive and it also gives you a guide on the intervals at which you should service your vehicle if you are not experiencing any of these warning signs.