Interim ServicingNovember 10, 2015
What’s included in an Interim service?
Oil and Oil Filter Replacement
The oil filter is important as it protects your engine from metal filings, dirt and sludge from the oil. That’s why experts recommend changing your oil and oil filter in your vehicle every three months or 3000 miles, whichever comes first, to increase engine protection and to maximise your car’s engine life.
Brake fluid plays a crucial role when transferring the force created when a driver presses the brake pedal directly onto the wheel hub. Heat generated under braking, especially under heavier breaking or prolonged breaking, may affect the brake fluid which can only work if it is liquid and not so hot that it has become vapour. Therefore the boiling point your brake fluid achieves is critical to efficient braking as temperatures above the boiling point form vapour bubbles in the system, potentially resulting in brake failure.
The brake fluid serves as a lubricant of all movable parts and prevents corrosion. It has to be compatible with rubber seals and hoses thus allowing braking systems to achieve long service and optimal performance.
The name antifreeze leads people to believe that it’s only job is to lower the freezing point of the coolant in your engine. In fact, it also raises the boiling point and prevents corrosion of waterways in your engine’s cylinder-head and block. If your vehicle’s cooling system only contained water, you would quickly run the risk of damaging the internal parts of the engine, which would lead to premature component wear. I think you will agree antifreeze is important, It should be renewed every two years and at the start of winter, you should test the strength of the antifreeze in the cooling system.
Windscreen wash is topped up and at Renatec a special additive is added which prevents freezing and reduces smearing.
Power Steering Fluid
Power-steering fluid is the hydraulic fluid that transmits the power in power steering. Servicing it involves draining or flushing out your car’s old power-steering fluid and then adding fresh power steering fluid.
Over time, the seals, O-rings and internal power-steering components will wear out. When they break apart, they contaminate the power-steering fluid, which forces the power-steering pump to work harder (having to pump little chunks instead of just fluid) and eventually break down.
You’ll eventually chew up your power-steering pump. It’ll have to be replaced which can be a very costly job, or you’ll have no power steering — and you can’t easily drive a car that’s equipped with power steering when the power-steering system fails. You also may damage the rack, which is also expensive to replace.
All lights will be checked to ensure they are working properly and the correct power and brightness is coming through using specialist technology. This includes checking interior lights, hazard, indicator and fog lights.
Windscreen wipers are good in preventing you from having poor vision, As well as affecting your view of the road ahead, worn wipers may damage your screen and potentially cause your vehicle to fail its MOT. We therefore recommend you change your wiper blades at least once a year.
Your car’s battery is the heart and soul of your vehicle. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a dead battery. Typically, battery life is 3-5 years. A warning sign that your car is in need of a new battery is driving somewhere and then coming back to your car to find it won’t start. Also a slow engine turn over, slow engine crank. If you try and start your vehicle, the cranking of the engine is sluggish and takes longer than normal to start.
We carry out a battery test by checking the battery capacity to eliminate future break downs. There are no warning signs for this kind of diagnostics issue, so it is important to have this checked as regularly as possible to avoid expensive call out charges.
Exhausts have four main functions: to control noise, to direct exhaust fumes away from passengers, to improve the performance of the engine and to improve fuel consumption.
Exhausts can corrode from both the inside and outside. How long your exhaust lasts depends on how far and how often you drive your car rather than the length of time it has been fitted. Vehicles used for short trips around town tend to corrode their exhausts in a much shorter time and distance than cars used predominately for long journeys.
There are a few things you can look for to determine if you have a damaged or clogged catalytic converter. If you don’t accelerate or drive any faster when you step on your gas pedal, your converter may be clogged. You will also experience a noticeable drop in gas mileage and possible stalling. However, if your converter is completely clogged, your engine will quickly fail because of all of the exhaust backpressure. Also, if your engine’s oxygen sensor or any part of your exhaust system fails, your “check engine” light will come on. If the “check engine” light comes on and stays on, you should have your vehicle checked immediately. Again, this necessary inspection will keep your vehicle operating efficiently as well as keep your passengers safe.
Tyre Tread and Pressure
As part of a service tyre tread and pressure will be checked, this is a very important practise and should be checked whenever possible and we recommend it is checked before long journeys or journeys on grip compromising surfaces like ice.
The consequences of not checking tyres often are:
Driving on under-inflated tyres reduces their endurance capabilities, leading to deterioration that could even result in a rapid deflation.
7 psi (0.5 bar) or more under inflated = DANGER
Decreased road holding,
With under- inflated tyres, the vehicle’s steering is less precise.
If a bend can be taken at 62 mph (100 km/h) at a tyre pressure of 29 psi (2.0 bar), this speed drops to 54 mph (87 km/h) at 15 psi (1.0 bar), or about 8 mph (13 km/h) less.
Lower pressures = worse road holding
Increased chance of aquaplaning,
If tyre pressures are 30% below the recommended pressure there is a sharp increase in the risk of aquaplaning.
Lower pressures = higher risk of aquaplaning
A decline in brake effectiveness,
In addition, tests show that braking distances from 56 mph (90 km/h) to 43 mph (70 km/h) are 40 metres at 29 psi (2.0 bar) but 45 metres at 15 psi (1.0 bar), that’s 5m longer.
15 psi (1.0 bar) under inflation = 5m longer braking distance
Decreased fuel economy,
Tyres under inflated by 15 psi (1 bar) have increased rolling resistance leading to around 6% greater fuel consumption.
Full Brake Check
The examination includes the digital measurement of wear on brake pads, shoes, brake discs and drums against the manufacturer’s specifications. The aim is to provide the best possible advice to help you restore the condition and efficiency of your braking system to as near the manufacturer’s original specification as possible.
It is important to have the brakes performing as they should be at all times, as if not maintained can result in an accident due to poor stopping distance.
Steering checks are carried out to ensure the balancing is correct
Each wheel, especially the front wheels, have to be balanced so that no vibration occurs. This is carried out on a machine which spins the wheel and detects any imbalance in the wheel/tyre.
Signs that your wheels may need balancing are vibrations through your steering wheel at certain speeds. Note a constant vibration at all speeds could be more serious than just a balance problem.
The alignment of the wheels is important to stop uneven tread wear and improve handling of the car. Signs that you need the wheels aligning are partially scrubbed tyres or wear lines where only a portion of your tyres tread has been worn away. Alignment lines the wheels up so that they are both parallel to each other.
As with alignment the wheels must be at the correct angle from the ground as stipulated by the manufacturer. Balancing, tracking/alignment are all needed to ensure good road handling, even tyre wear and smooth motoring. Proper tracking ensures the car does not ‘wander’.
Checking for wear,
Under normal circumstances your car should drive straight but the car will tend to follow the camber of the road. (ie pull to the kerb because of the drainage slant of the road.) If your car pulls unnaturally to one side of the other then you need to check all of the above but it can be due to accident damage. The distance from the centre of the back wheel to the centre of the front wheel should be exactly the same on both sides of the car. If it is not then it is probably due to an impact pushing one of the wheels back. Small discrepancies can be sorted with adjustment but larger ones can indicate suspension/chassis damage.
Normal wear and tear will eventually cause sloppy steering. To test this turn the wheel quickly from side to side. The steering should feel constant without gaps. Make sure that the tyres turn for every touch of the steering wheel and there are no knocking noises or lack of movement.
Lack of movement or knocking noises usually means a worn steering rack and might need replacement. If you have power steering then perform these tests with the engine running. Check for fluid leaks and excessive noise when turning your steering to either full lock.
Shock Absorbers Check
Shock absorbers form part of your vehicle’s suspension system designed to reduce the effect of bumps and vibrations from road surfaces, providing you with a more comfortable ride. A good suspension system also helps to maintain vehicle stability and handling as well as helping to reduce your braking distance.
When a spring is compressed and then released, the energy within the spring causes it to continue to flex up and down before it settles to its original shape. Going over a bump in your car compresses the springs, so the car would also continue to bounce up and down making the car difficult to control. The effect of the shock absorber is to dampen the spring’s natural reaction to bounce.
Shock absorbers are filled with hydraulic fluid or gas. When the shock absorber is compressed, this fluid is forced by a piston through a small hole in the shock absorber cylinder and into the other end of the unit. The design prevents this action happening quickly, so the spring is restricted from continuing to bounce, helping to keep all four tyres in good contact with the road surface.
It’s important to keep this regularly checked to prevent premature wear a variety of other components, like drive shafts, suspension bushes and tyres.
Suspension is the term given to the system of components, springs, shock absorbers and linkages that connects a vehicle to the road surface via the wheels and tyres.
Suspension systems serve a dual purpose, contributing to the car’s road holding/handling and braking for good active safety and driving pleasure, and keeping vehicle occupants comfortable and reasonably well isolated from road noise, bumps, and vibrations.
These goals are generally at odds, so the tuning of suspensions involves finding the right compromise. It is important for the suspension to keep the wheels in contact with the road surface as much as possible, because all the forces acting on the vehicle do so through the contact patches of the tyres. The suspension also protects the vehicle itself and any cargo or luggage from damage and wear. The design of front and rear suspension of a car may be different but the following diagrams show a common type of system.