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Car service: why it’s value for money

Bryan Swales Auto Repairs have been looking after road users in and around the Castle Douglas for many years. We love to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding your vehicle and bring you up to date with any recent offers and information.

With this in mind, we decided to share the benefits of having your vehicle maintained and serviced on a regular basis.

We all know that having your vehicle regularly serviced and maintained is important. It can make a real difference to its efficiency, as well as minimising the risk of a breakdown. Don’t underestimate the impact of looking after your vehicle and the difference it can make.

The RAC has found that more than 2.5 million roadside breakdowns happen each year. The reports say that a high percentage of these breakdowns are caused by a lack of basic maintenance.

There are two areas of note where regular servicing has a financial benefit. One of these is Identifying problems before they become serious, avoiding additional expense. A good example of this would be brake inspection. Brake pad wear is a natural occurrence, but it’s important that the pads are replaced at the correct interval.

Leave brake pad replacement too long and they’ll damage your brake discs, costing £100’s in unnecessary work. In instances like this prevention is definitely preferable to cure.

The second area is that of maintaining your fuelling efficiency. Your car is a finely tuned machine and requires a little TLC. Something as straight forward as an oil and filter service can have a positive impact and improve the MPG you vehicle returns.

We’d also recommend that you carry out some basic maintenance checks along the way. Checking the tyre pressures, engine oil level, and topping up the screen wash bottle are just a few things you can do from home.

Many aspects of your vehicle, however, will require a professionally trained technician who has the tools and knowledge to carry out the more complex operations safely.  

In today’s world of highly technical vehicles, the driver can hardly be expected to understand all the electrickery that goes on underneath your bonnet

This being the case, an untrained or under-qualified person could do more damage if trying to fix the vehicle themselves, causing damage and leading to a more expensive repair. 

Independent garage vs franchised dealership

So… Your car needs a service, who should you choose?

Choosing an independent garage over a franchised dealer is beneficial for many reasons.

Franchised dealers tend to have a high labour rate which in turn means a more expensive repair. Their large workforce, huge buildings and franchise stipulations dictate this.

One recent survey revealed that a franchised dealers’ quote can be as much as 18% higher. A significant amount more than those provided by independent garages.

Quality independent garages can offer great technical skills, up to date certification with the latest technology, and have lower running costs due to their smaller teams. You’ll also often receive a more personal service, as well as value for money.

What should you expect from a car service

  • The length of time between services can vary from vehicle to vehicle. This will depend on the make and model of the vehicle, as well as the type of service required. Generally, though most services will include the following: 
  • Lights: All lights are checked including the front, side, rear, and main lights are in full working order. Hazard warning lights and indicators are checked, as are number plate lights, brake lights, fog lights and reverse lights.
  • Fluids: General fluids will be replenished, including washer fluid. It is often possible that the oil and filter could be changed. Fluids such as coolant, power steering will also be checked and topped up where required.
  • Brakes: Brake components will be measured to ensure serviceability. Brake fluid will be checked to ensure it meets recommended specs and topped up if required. Brake pipes will be checked for security and corrosion.
  • Wheels and tyres: Wheels and tyres are inspected for damage and defects. Tread depth is also be measured to make sure it is above the legal limit of 1.6mm. Tyre pressures are checked and adjusted.
  • Electrics: The vehicles starting and charging system is checked including the battery, alternator and starter motor.
  • Instruments: The dashboard function along with all gauges, warning lights and the horn will be checked for correct functionality
  • Windscreens: The screen will be inspected for damage, along with the wiper blades and washer nozzles for correct operation.
  • Engine: The oil and filter are usually replaced. Other items such as the exhaust system, fuel pipes, radiator, clutch, air filter, coolant hoses, auxiliary drive belt are checked and reported upon. Spark plugs and other service items may also be replaced.
  • Interior: The seat belts and mechanisms are checked along with the internal and external mirrors, seats, interior lights, doors and locks and the handbrake.

So. All being well you now know that even basic maintenance makes a lot of sense. But when it comes to your next service, who will you choose?

We’re obviously a little biased, but when it comes to caring for your car, with our years of experience, expert technicians, friendly team and competitive prices you’ll be glad that you picked Bryan Swales to look after your vehicles. 

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