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Know the difference between a minor or major car service

You should alternate between major and minor services whenever you reach manufacturer mileage recommendations.

On top of four consecutive petrol price increases, worries about the upcoming election and consumers feeling cash-strapped, the last expense you need now is another car service.

You may be one of the thousands of South African motorists who are reaching your car service mileage marker and it is time to book your car for a service. Are you in for a minor service or a major one?

Dewald Ranft, chairperson of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), an association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), says vehicles should get a service as per the manufacturer’s requirements.

Not all services will be a major one. During a minor service, the workshop will do an oil and oil filter change.

The workshop will also check fluids, filters, belts, hoses, brakes and emissions and lubricate the chassis if it has not been factory-sealed.

“Most workshops will check your tyre pressure and, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation, may rotate the tyres.

“The service will also include a check of all lights, windscreen washer and coolant levels, brake fluid level and colour, and the power steering fluid level,” explains Ranft.

“You can speak to your workshop manager about issues you experience with your vehicle and ask them to check that specific area. They will let you know if any additional servicing or repairs are required.”

In a major service, unlike a minor one, they include a comprehensive checklist in the service.

“The mechanic will do a check from head to tail of the vehicle and wash the engine and vehicle if requested by the customer.

“The mechanics will check all components of the vehicle and bodywork of the vehicle.

“All hinges and latches will be greased, components lubricated, and all parts reported on. They will also check the timing belt, depending on mileage or years, as per the manufacturer’s requirements.”

Ranft adds if the mechanics pick up anything major during the service, they must provide a quotation for additional work before the work commences. He says if you are unsure if certain items are included in a service, speak to your mechanic.

“We highly recommend using an MIWA-accredited workshop to be assured of the highest standard of service and accountability.

“The Competition Commission guidelines have opened up the opportunity for consumers to have the choice to service their vehicle at a workshop of their choice. This means you can shop around for the best possible price and service quality,” says Ranft.

“The mechanic will indicate what to include in the service and whether a minor or major service is needed. Remember to mention problem areas with your vehicle so the workshop can give these special attention.”

“Services and keeping a record of your service history are vitally important, not only for your vehicle’s resale value but also to ensure your vehicle is safe on the road.

“Our stats show us with many people working on a hybrid work schedule, drivers are not accumulating the same distances they did previously.

“This is throwing out their service routines to some extent, but whatever you do, don’t miss a service.

“We need to be responsible for making our roads safer and, remember, a healthy car is not a fuel guzzler. Your diligence will be rewarded when it is finally time to sell,” concludes Ranft.

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