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Regular inspection and maintenance of the car increase safety, durability and value retention.

The regular and expertly performed car inspection is an important prerequisite for the life and the value of a car and not least for the safety of all vehicle occupants. But which inspection intervals are useful? Is regular maintenance really necessary? What inspection types are there, what exactly is being done and what needs to be considered?

Regular inspections are strongly recommended

Although the gaps between the inspections are larger today than in the past, thanks to the modern onboard technology, maintenance and repair require far more complex skills from the workshops. Some rules for specific checks and fixed intervals are therefore no longer valid. Although only the main statutory inspection (MOT) is mandatory, regular inspections are strongly recommended as they have a significant impact on the manufacturer's warranty and general vehicle safety.

The service intervals, therefore, depend primarily on the vehicle type and manufacturer. Due to the advanced technology, certain inspection distances can grow up to 30,000 kilometres. In general, there are large maintenance intervals for spark plugs or brake fluid. Even chronically vulnerable parts such as the timing belt can now hold up to 19000 miles. However, to ensure maximum vehicle life, auto-inspections are essential.

Differences small inspection and big inspection

In the regular service maintenance, a distinction is made between small inspection and large inspection. The small inspection usually involves only one oil change, a few checks and refill work, such as on the windscreen wiper system, the air filters or the brakes. Depending on the manufacturer, however, the scope of this type of maintenance differs. As a rule, the service booklet contains an indication of what the small inspection involves. Depending on the manufacturer, this service may be named differently, as in "Inspection I".

The large inspection also checks the lighting, underbody, gearbox, axle drive, brakes and numerous other safety-related and wear-affected parts. The large inspection is thus one of the most important investigations of a vehicle to avoid long-term high repair costs and to detect and remedy defects at an early stage.

Inspection intervals depend on the vehicle and the handling.

An inspection should be carried out at regular intervals. Depending on the vehicle, handling and mileage covered. However, these maintenance intervals vary. For example, some vehicle manufacturers recommend a large-scale inspection every two years or 18000 miles, while other vehicles require a maintenance check after just 9000 miles. Information on the maintenance plan and what should be renewed when can be found in the operating instructions or the service booklet of the vehicle. In modern vehicle models, the next maintenance date is calculated by the board computer. Thus, e.g. senses the load on the engine or engine oil. If a critical value is exceeded, the maintenance recommendation is indicated to the driver by a light or a signal on the dashboard.

Deadlines for inspections should always be adhered to

After the first inspection, the next service appointment is usually noted in the service booklet, on a small sticker on the inside of the driver side door, or on a label in the engine compartment.

The onboard computer usually also reminds in good time of the next appointment in the workshop. These deadlines should always be adhered to whenever possible, so as not to jeopardise the manufacturer's warranty.

Accordingly, you should always keep an eye on the next inspection appointment. Also, you should make sure that the service booklet as part of the inspections stays neatly maintained by the workshop.

Because in the event of a car breakdown within the warranty period, the manufacturer will only bear the costs if the vehicle owner can provide a completely stamped service book. Even with a later sale of the vehicle, a complete service booklet is an advantage.

Because a "book-maintained vehicle" usually has a higher resale value than comparable vehicles without a service book.

Contract workshop or free workshop?

When choosing the right workshop, the driver is not necessarily bound to contract manufacturers of the manufacturer. In the first place, it is crucial that the maintenance of the car is carried out strictly according to the manufacturer's instructions. As long as these specifications of the vehicle manufacturer are used, inspections can also be carried out without hesitation in independent workshops.

Which spare parts were installed and what should be considered?

Here at Smartfit Auto Centre we only use high-quality oils and branded parts.

We always take our customers wishes and their budgets into consideration though. Please speak to us.

Which inspection costs can be expected?

The inspection costs sometimes vary - depending on car brand, model and parts/materials needed.

Whether large or small inspection, it is always worthwhile to bring your vehicle to us.

What can you as the vehicle user do to contribute to the maintenance of your vehicle?

In addition to the regular workshop inspections, the vehicle owner should contribute to the maintenance by regularly checking the oil level, the condition of windscreen wipers, tyre pressure and tread, coolant level and spark plugs. If deficiencies were found, they should be corrected promptly. This prevents follow-up problems that are caused by any malfunctions and can mean a greater need for repair in the long term. Also, self-checking reduces the safety risk for the driver and other road users.

For those customers who can not- or do not want to do these checks themselves, we are offering our convenient "vehicle health checks."

We hope you have found this information helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to book a service appointment, please get in touch.