Car Care

Understanding Your Car

When to Service Your Car

Todays cars have developed their component parts to get the most power, performance and emission compliance levels from every drop of fuel.
Your car must be maintained to a high standard if it is to continue to give good service, in the fashion designed by the maker. Nearly every motor car has it's servicing geared around the requirements of it's engine.
Olden day terms of a "grease and oil change" are no longer used. Today you need to ask for a "major service, or minor service, or log book service", sometimes designated by the kilometers travelled, eg; 5,000 service, 10,000 service, 20,000 service and 100,000 service.
An engine uses oil to lubricate and protect engine parts from wear. A thin scraping of oil is exposed inside the engine cylinders when combustion is taking place. This oil is burned, fully or partially, during combustion, small particulates condense and drop into the oil and will circulate in the oiling system if it were not for the oil filter. The oil is also constantly being contaminated by impurities like carbon, water, acids, unburned fuel, and chemical by products of combustion. The oil filter is not limitless in size, and requires changing at reguar intervals. The intervals of changing the oil and filter are determined by the maker after careful laboratory and field testing. When an engine is used in severe conditions, the oil must be changed more frequently.

What Else Should Get Done in a Service

Besides the months elapsed, hours of use and distance travelled are in relation to whether the engine is running or not, steering, suspension and body maintenance is carried out while oil changes are taking place. Since the late seventies, steering and suspension parts have mostly become non-greasable joints, lubricated entirely by plastics like Nylon or Urethane.
Joints still lubricated using grease should be checked using the workshop manual and lubricated with the correct grade of grease. Any moving parts, cables, linkages and rubber supports must be checked for wear and deterioration. You may be able to give these parts a visual examination, or for complicated assemblies check the manual for testing sequences and proceedures.

Introduction | Safety | Battery | Understanding Your Car | Checking your own car | Fuel Systems | When to Service Your Car | Seasonal Motoring | Glossary of Terms