Getting your vehicle serviced regularly will prevent frequent breakdowns and increase the car’s life-expectancy. It’s often thought that maintenance means solely oil changing, but that for sure is not the case!
Your car manufacturer has put together a specific service schedule for your model. The recommended maintenance intervals are getting longer and longer on new cars ranging from 30 000 to 50 000 km. However, Estonian weather (frequent changes in temperature) and frequent short drives demand a different approach.
We recommend changing the engine oil and filter as well as the air filter after every 10 000 – 15 000 km.
We recommend to do the same with fuel filters in the case of a diesel car. The recommended maintenance interval for spark plugs is about 30 000 – 45 000 km, depending on the recommendations of the car manufacturer. Diesel-engine glow plugs need to be checked right before the start of winter to avoid actuator faults in low temperatures.
Cars with automatic transmission need an oil-change after every 60 000 km. Same goes for older vehicles with a hydro gear gearbox.
Manual gearbox and, for example, a differential should get new oil after every 90 000 km.
A coolant, brake fluid and hydraulic oils (in power steering and in some suspensions) should be changed at least every 2 years.
It’s important to inform yourself about the change of the timing belt. Especially when you have just bought the car and it’s been, for example, imported without the maintenance history provided.
It would also be smart to be precautious and change the timing belt sooner than recommended by the manufacturer. Of course, a time factor plays a big role in it, too. The given 120 000 – 150 000 km is not often driven through in, let’s say, 4 years, which again means that the timing belt should be changed sooner.
Aid-appliances fixed to the engine, generator, power steering pump, air conditioning compressor and in some cases even a water pump, are also started by a belt which should be checked during the maintenance paying attention to the condition of the caster wheels and clips. This will eliminate the chance of the engine suddenly stopping working because of the empty battery or because the cooling liquid temperature has risen to “red”.
In case your vehicle is driven more in the city than on the highway it’s important to check the brakes (especially the rear brakes) too. The effectiveness of the brakes will decrease when brake drums and shoes get stuck which might lead to objects approaching with unwanted speed in dangerous situations. Also, brake discs can wear down unevenly and cause noises that raise unwanted attention from other drivers.
When a vehicle is on the ramp and the old engine oil has been drained it is time for a chassis inspection: ball joints, silent block, levers and shock absorbents etc. Corrosion on brake and fuel pipes is dangerous!
In addition, inspection of lights needs to be done. If necessary, change the light bulbs and polish the headlight’s glasses.
In the end the vehicle is taken for a test drive after which the next recommended maintenance appointment is marked either electronically or in the vehicle maintenance book.