For the average driver, modern cars can seem very complicated, as soon as you lift the bonnet! We all know how to drive them from a to b, but when it comes to problems with cars there can often be a source of anxiety amongst drivers. Some people simply assume that ignoring an unusual sound or an odd vibration in the car will make it go away, but that can be more costly in the long run.
This trend of ignoring car problems has grown throughout the years in the UK for a number of different reasons. According to industry research, which was carried out by Green Flag, as many as 21 million cars on the road in Britain ignore problems within their cars.
As many as a third of drivers from the same survey admitted that they have become “desensitised” to their vehicle’s faults and are happy to keep driving with them. This is clearly a dangerous game to play which not only threatens you and your passenger’s safety but the safety of other drivers.
However, it’s also costing drivers a huge amount of money each year. The national average of car repair expenditure is £21.5 billion and nearly half of these repairs could have been cheaper if they had simply been seen to earlier. 57% of drivers complained that repairs are too expensive, but they may not have been, if sorted as soon as the problem arose.
So, with all of that in mind, it’s imperative that drivers use the services of a garage before an issue becomes too serious. Doing so can end up saving you a lot of money in the long-term; here’s how.
When visiting your local garage, they will have a range of services which can help you to save money in the long run. It’s important to know your way around some of these and how they can keep your car and finances in check. Here are just a few examples that, if you get fixed early, can save you some money in the long term.
An engine diagnostics check will allow mechanics to get a detailed insight into the health of your car; not dissimilar to a regular check up with a doctor!
During this process, the mechanic will hook up to your car’s onboard computer and begin reading from a range of information which can then tell the mechanic what problems there may be lurking beneath the bonnet. Specifically, the diagnostics process can determine whether there are issues with the engine, the transmission, the exhaust and brakes as well as some other areas.
Once you notice an odd noise or anything unusual within your car, but you’re unsure what it is, it is certainly worth taking the car over to the garage for a check up or service. The first step of the process will often be a diagnostics test, followed by further tests to locate the issue and conduct any repair work. Identifying any issues early on, could help prevent costly repairs in the future.
Brakes are one of the most crucial components of a car. They are an essential for the safety for road users, so must always remain in the best working condition possible. However, knowing when the brakes need replacing is a relatively easy process and the warning signs should be pretty obvious.
One of the things to take careful notice of whilst driving or braking are any noises that come from the brakes. If there is a squealing or grinding noise, then it could mean that the brakes are badly deteriorated and in need of attention. Similarly, if the car is pulling to one side or wobbling as the brakes are applied, this is another sign that you should visit a garage as soon as possible to get them inspected.
Similarly to brakes, tyres are one of the most important parts of your car when it comes to safety and, again, a quick visual inspection will help you determine if its time for new tyres.
First of all, keep an eye on the tread depth, 1.6mm is the minimum legal requirement. Ideally you should consider channg them at 2mm, especially during wintertime. As well as the tread, it’s important to keep an eye on the sidewall of the tyres too; if any cracks appear, this is a clear sign that you should replace your tyres. When driving, if you start to feel vibration through the steering wheel - much more than normal – then it’s worth getting your car checked out.
Getting new tyres can also save you lots of money, as brand new ones will mean that your car has greater fuel efficiency and you’ll spend less on fuel.
Another function of a local garage is a full car service, which professionals recommend take place at least once a year and which will help to save you money in the long-term.
Booking in your car for a service on a regular basis means that all of the relevant components of the car are kept in good working order, which means that they will deteriorate at a slower rate and, therefore, break less often. A service will help to prevent expensive breakdowns in the future, as well as identify potential problems which can then be fixed sooner rather than later.
Getting your car checked and serviced annually, will also improve your overall fuel efficiency, providing you with more miles per gallon. This means that you’ll be spending less on petrol or diesel each day, as well as costly repairs in the future.
Aside from being able to save money, you’ll also be able to get more money when it comes to resale in the future. Cars with a full service history will sell for significantly more than a car without.
It’s important to learn from the mistakes of the 21 million road users who ignored the warning signs that their cars were giving them and book your car in for a repair in a garage as soon as you notice anything wrong.
Not doing so could endanger you, your passengers and other road users and you can find yourself with a written off car, if you leave it too long. By getting your car to a trustworthy local garage early, you’re far more likely to save money on the cost of any repairs.
If you want your car to keep running smoothly and save you money in the long-term, TQ1 MOT Centre can help. As a Trading Standards approved garage in Torquay, we can provide high-quality repairs and a full range of garage services to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape.
Whatever type of car servicing you are looking for, we will always ensure that they are carried out professionally, to an excellent standard and with brilliant customer service. We know just how important it is to keep your car in great condition so will always be transparent with you and complete the work in timely manner to get you back on the road.
To find out more, contact us. You can find us at TQ1 MOT Centre, 1 Berachah Road, Torquay or call us on 01803 411920