Take a moment to consider how hard your vehicle works. Even if you don’t cover a lot of mileage, your car has a pretty hard life considering the roads we have in South Africa. This naturally causes wear and tear, and just like annual health checks, a car needs regular maintenance. Regular servicing ensures that all components of your vehicle are working at an optimum level, which means better performance and economy, and helps to identify any issues so they can be managed before they become too expensive to repair. Keeping your car healthy is also the responsible thing to do as leaking fluids and poorly maintained engines release toxic substances into the environment.
Tips to save you money
- Have your vehicle serviced at least once a year, as this will save you money over time by means of preventative maintenance. Maintaining a full service history will protect the resale value of your vehicle should you wish to sell it in the future.
- It’s a good idea to purchase a manufacturer-approved Extended Service Plan. In addition to protecting your vehicle’s resale value, an approved Extended Service Plan will ensure that you have a predictable and affordable cost of ownership over the long term because it provides for your vehicle’s scheduled servicing at today’s cost of parts and labour.
- Always make use of parts that were designed specifically for your vehicle. The use of Genuine Parts means no deviation from the vehicle’s original specifications, which also ensures there is no compromise in terms of performance or safety.
The importance of a regular service
- The most important reason to have your vehicle serviced regularly is to ensure that it is always in optimal working condition. It will save you money in the long term, as it will enable early identification and resolution of any issues you may be unaware of before they become too expensive to repair.
- Regular replacement of parts will make your visits to the fuel pump more cost-effective, as replacing parts such as a clogged air or oil filter and spark plugs will assist in improving the efficiency of your vehicle.
- If you service your vehicle according to the manufacturer’s specified schedule, you only replace what is necessary when necessary. This guarantees the vehicle’s optimal performance, safety and reliability and curbs the cost of ownership.
- Having your vehicle serviced by a Toyota dealer will ensure that all your vehicle’s safety features, such as airbags and anti-lock braking system, will be inspected to ensure correct operation.
What to know when servicing your car
- Ask what items will be replaced and inspected for the specific service interval. If you have any other issues that you would like to be inspected, inform the dealer when you book your vehicle for its next service.
- Once your vehicle’s complimentary Service Plan has expired, ask the dealer about extending the Service Plan. If you don’t want to extend it, Toyota offers Value Service, which provides an affordable option to keep your vehicles safe and reliable.
What to check prior to a long journey
- The first thing you must check are the lights. Get into the vehicle and have a friend stand in front as you put on the headlights, high beams, indicators, fog lamps and hazards. Then check the rear: brake lights, reverse lights, indicators, fog lamps and hazards.
- Open the bonnet and check the brake fluid, oil level, coolant level and the window washer fluid as indicated by the Owner’s Manual. Once you have finished checking the engine, have a look under the vehicle to see if there are any obvious leaks. If any of the aforementioned fluid levels are low or there are any leaks, have your vehicle inspected by your nearest Toyota dealer.
- It’s very important to check all four tyres thoroughly before going on a long journey. Check each tyre for the tread-wear indicators and uneven wear and inflate them to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. These tyre checks should also be conducted on the spare tyre, which should not be older than five years (you can check the date of manufacture on it). If any tyres are uneven or keep going flat, visit your nearest Toyota dealer to discuss the manufacturer-specified tyres for purchase.