Do I really need a car service?

Antwis Engineering’s guide to getting your car service tailored to your car

A mechanic working on a car

When you use your car daily, it can be frustrating when you run into problems unexpectedly. Here at Antwis Engineering, we recommended that you get a car service at least once a year (it can be two years for Diesel engines). Even though it’s not a legal requirement, like your MOT, it can help you avoid getting stuck at the side of the road and/or an expensive bill to follow!

If you don’t have your car service history on hand to help you plan for your car repairs, Antwis Engineering, based in Sevenoaks, has a few tips that might help you know what to look out for before it’s too late.

1. Short runs and cold starts

Most of us will use our cars daily to do school runs, head to work, grab some last-minute shopping etc. which can mean constantly using your car for small journeys. If you’re using your car for getting you from A to B regularly, it can mean your car doesn’t have enough time to reach its operating temperature which can lead to rusting, stress on the engine and oil contamination. Your engine is most at risk from damage when the winter arrives. Your car’s combustion process is not efficient until the engine reaches its operating temperature and in colder months this can take a bit longer than normal. If you are aware that you are driving short distances on a regular basis, general car repairs and servicing are a must to make sure you don’t have a more serious issue later down the line.

2. Warning lights

Your car generally knows when it needs looking after; the warning lights are the first sign that your car is in need of repair. Your car has its own diagnostic toolkit built in, letting you know when to take your car to your garage.

In most cases your car will light up with a spanner, indicating that your service is due. Try not to leave it for too as it can make all the difference in avoiding breakdowns and expensive bills. If your ‘check engine’ light comes up, book into Antwis Engineering, and we will perform a simple diagnostic check to help get to the bottom of the problem and get you safely back on the road.

3. Weird noises coming from the engine or brakes

Generally, you’ll notice when your car is behaving differently and making strange noises. On the first sign of any new sounds, it’s highly recommended that you book into a garage as soon as possible. Our garage, in Sevenoaks, will diagnose and repair any issues before it develops into a more serious problem. Squealing, hissing, clunking or any noise that you’re not used to can indicate a leak, overheating or wear and tear of tyres, brakes or belts. Listen out for anything out of the ordinary for signs of needing a service.

4. Wheel Alignment

It’s important to check your tyres for wear patterns regularly, as well as paying attention to car shifts, suspension issues or steering changes. Any problems can indicate badly aligned wheels, worn brake or disk pads and suspension replacement which can often rack up a hefty bill. Antwis Engineering can check any tyre issues you might be having and provide you with a full car diagnostic to make sure you’re safe and sound on the road.

5. Engine or exhaust smoke

Most modern cars will normally turn off before overheating, but any sign of smoke or steam coming from your vehicle can result in serious engine damage if ignored. Keep an eye on your temperature gauge, making sure it’s not reaching maximum heights and preventing any smoke or steam coming from your car. Pull over in a safe place, and avoid driving any further until cooled or calling your local garage for advice. Antwis Engineering has access to all the latest diagnostic equipment, meaning we can effectively provide you with solutions and repairs for your car when required.

Antwis Engineering recommend your car to be serviced every 12,000 or once a year. However, it’s important to make sure that in between you are paying attention to any differences in your car, as it can save you money. Be aware of how often you are driving shorter distances and any noises or warning signs that your car might make to indicate it needs a little repair. These are just a few suggestions on what signs to look out for; to ensure that you are safe on the road, you should follow the manufacturer’s guidelines regularly service your car.