Even if your car is serviced every year, it might not be enough to stop it screeching to a wallet-busting halt and landing you with a huge bill.
That's because not all 'services' are made equal.
And even if you're paying for a 'full service' at a dealership, it may not be what it seems, as per our latest insights.
As MotorEasy founder Duncan McClure Fisher explains "We know there's a huge problem with car servicing in the UK because we're the ones who pick up the pieces when things go wrong.
"Very often a car's owner has made every effort to keep their vehicle in the best possible shape, having it serviced regularly and keeping up with the maintenance.
"But unless that service actually involves ALL the jobs that need doing, and is conducted precisely to the manufacturer's guidelines, then you're going to have a problem.
"When you book a service, find out precisely what it entails before you agree to it so you're not caught short - they should be able to give you a jobsheet."
Here's the big six car servicing jobs that get missed, along with an idea of the possible hit to your bank balance when they're missed!
Taking the wheels off
(Potential cost:, vehicle write-off and risk of personal injury)
A proper service will involve the garage technician taking all the wheels off your car in order to check the condition of your brakes. Yet many garages don't bother, they instead simply peek through the gaps in your alloys or rely on the last MOT brake test. However, loose or broken pads cannot be seen with the wheel on. We've even seen a car pass its MOT test despite having this problem as the engineer didn't check properly! Leaks inside the brake drums cannot be seen with the wheel on. And brakes can't be measured, to see how much life there is left in them, with the wheels on. That's not ideal if you're doing high mileage. If you’re sat watching your service at a garage and the wheels aren’t being taken off, then you’ve got a problem.
Cambelt tensioner and water pump (Cost: £3,000 - £20,000 for engine replacement)
Your cambelt is part of the system that synchronises the rotation of the engine, opening and closing valves at the proper times. If it's not working correctly, the engine falls out of sync and can disintegrate. If you don't change the belt at the right interval, it can snap, writing the engine off in the process. Most people are aware of this and make sure the belt is changed. But if you change the belt - and NOT the tensioners and pumps associated with it - they can seize, tearing the new belt and obliterating the engine! Cambelt tensioner and water pump replacement typically costs between £80 and £300 on top of a normal service.
Oil filters and oil (Cost: £3,000 - £20,000 engine failure)
This is THE most important part of any service, and should be done annually. But changing the oil is pointless unless the oil filter is replaced too as old oil will lose its viscosity, causing engine components to wear prematurely.
Gearbox and differential oil (Cost: £3,000 - £6,000 to repair)
Just like your engine, your gearbox and differential - the component that drives the shafts that spin your wheels - also need regular oil changes. And yet these vital changes are often missed from bog-standard services. Check for your car's guidelines on when to change the oil, and make sure it gets done - as it only costs from £200 extra on a typical service and won't need to be done each year.
Fuel filter (Cost: £1,000 - £4,000 to repair)
The fuel filter is not an expensive part to replace (around £200) and should be done in accordance with your manufacturer’s service requirements. But again, it often gets overlooked. As the name suggests, the fuel filter removes any debris that's lurking in your fuel tank and stops it getting into the engine. This debris can cause damage to the high pressure pump and injectors, leading to an almighty repair bill and lots of inconvenience for the poor owner.
Clean brake calipers (Cost: £1,000 and safety risk)
Like most things on your vehicle, keeping things clean and free from corrosion can really increase the part's longevity. This is key with your brake calipers which squeeze your brake disc when you press the pedal, forcing the wheels to slow down. Neglect them and they'll get dirty and corroded and eventually stop working correctly - which is the last thing you want on Britain's hazardous roads. Calipers should be cleaned with a scrub brush and brake fluid to get rid of excess grease and dirt. When you consider that some calipers cost around £1,000 to replace, you could save yourself a small fortune.
Here at MotorEasy we offer hassle free servicing to manufacturer's specification, with the added peace of mind that it is being monitored by our trained engineers. PLUS expect to save 40% on manufacturer prices!