COVID 19 and some of the effects on your car
Yes it has an effect on your vehicle
In Queensland, Automotive repair and service businesses are classed as an “Essential service” for good reason.
We have a responsibility to ensure at the end of this, the fleet of vehicles on our roads is safe and reliable.
So why do I need to keep up my car servicing schedule while I am working from home?
I am not doing the Kilometers
To answer this you need to look at vehicle logbooks and the question
Which should I go by Kilometers travelled or Months since last service?
If you look at your vehicles logbook you will see the servicing schedule and you will see it is laid out in either 6-month intervals or 12-month intervals each of these intervals are accompanied by a Km distance.
So the question of which one do we follow exists, after all if the car is sitting at home not doing much travel, surely it isn’t wearing out…..
Well the vehicle manufacturers decide on the service intervals, in fact it is a condition of your warranty and your responsibility to maintain the schedule.
“Manufacturers do not have to honour a warranty and ACCC can't force them to if you haven't maintained it as per their conditions”
The most common set of conditions are,
“Every 10,000 km or six months (some are set at different date and time intervals) but they all state whichever occurs first.”
So the vehicle sitting at home is still turning over the calendar, regardless of the km travelled.
To our knowledge whilst some manufacturers have extended their warranty periods during the crisis, they have not changed their warranty conditions when it comes to vehicle servicing intervals.
So the month equation is important and remains in play.
One way to look at servicing is,
If you were to go on a holiday, you would expect the plane you intend on travelling on to be serviced properly and regularly, your car is no different,
(there is certainly more vehicles on the road than planes in the air.)
If you were to hop on a roller coaster you would naturally expect it to be well serviced and regularly inspected and maintained.
The Police, the Government, Insurance companies and the remainder of road users also expect that your vehicle is safe and properly maintained.
A lack of maintenance can not only be expensive, but in some cases disastrous.
“As mechanics we ensure your vehicle is fit and safe for driving on our roads”
Most vehicles see a mechanic for servicing 1-2 times per year, this ensures they operate correctly for you when required and also safely, for your family and others.
A service is just an oil and filter change, Not true
Have a look in your vehicles logbook and you will see that the services require much more than just changing the oil and filter. There are inspections and adjustments that need to be carried out by experienced mechanics.
- How much wear is left on your Brake pads?
- Is the brake fluid safe?
- Are your tyres roadworthy?
- It the Battery charging correctly?
These are just some of the areas covered by a service, there are others to be done according to the logbook.
If your vehicle is on a 6-month service schedule and you have let it lapse to 9-months, your mechanic reported at the last service the brake fluid was okay and you had 6 months wear left on your brakes.
At 9-months your brakes have most likely worn to an unsafe thickness, causing excessive heat in the brake system which effects the brake fluids ability to function correctly.
At the vehicles last service the tyres were inflated to the correct pressure, ensuring they made good contact with the road.
In the time since the service, how often has the tyre pressure been checked?
Tyres aren’t cheap, yet many are changed because of poor inflation, causing them to wear incorrectly and not maintain a good contact with the road.
You may have saved money on the service, only to spend it on new tyres.
"Better than getting booked for bald tyres I suppose."
Imagine what the situation would be if your car was on a 12-month service schedule and you missed an entire year.
What about the engine?
So now let us consider how many moving parts are in a car.
Take away the cosmetics and cars are made up of thousands of moving parts including seals, gaskets, bearings and hydraulics.
All of these components require a certain amount of lubrication that occurs when the vehicle is operating on a regular basis.
If an engine isn’t being used, residual oil that usually remains in the different parts of the engine and on its components, drain into the sump, leaving surfaces that are usually lubricated dry.
Suddenly starting the engine will cause parts not designed to operate without lubrication to operate at cold idle speed (1000 + rpm), dry, until the oil is redistributed around the engine.
Bearings and other components that have been sitting idle may have trouble trying to turn causing strain on belts and pulleys.
“As mechanics when we get vehicles that have been sitting for extended periods, we take a lot of care to ensure we don’t damage these parts when we are getting these type of vehicles operational again and we know what we are looking for.”
The reality is, no vehicle manufacturer has designed a car to sit unused for weeks on end, Cars are designed for ongoing use and regular servicing.
The different fluids in your car have a life expectancy, whether the vehicle is being used or not, Oil for instance when left too long thickens and becomes sludge.
Sludge kills modern engines, ask any mechanic and they will show you pictures of damage caused by sludge and the expense of replacing the engine.
The worst part is, it is avoidable.
Servicing is preventative maintenance
Now if most vehicles only visit a mechanic one to two times per year, surely keeping the vehicle serviced properly is not a major drain financially, in fact it will most likely save owners money down the track when life gets back to normal.
As an industry because vehicles have been unused for extended periods of time, we are anticipating
- An increase in break downs and repairs at the end of this crisis.
- Replacement parts will be difficult to source.
- Because of a shortage of qualified tradesmen, our resources will be stretched
We don’t want any of our clients to face unnecessary expense or break downs
All our branches provide “contact-free” delivery and collection of vehicles, so we can safely service your vehicle, Stamp your logbook and maintain your warranty, whilst you are working from home
Please contact your local branch for service bookings and any arrangements you require.
Please “Keep your vehicle servicing up to date” and stay safe.