Are you performing essential maintenance checks on your vehicle?
PUBLISHED: 11:05 08 March 2016 | UPDATED: 11:57 08 March 2016
Graham Cox, Director of Ernigrip Motors in Enstone, warns that failure to carry out simple maintenance checks could cost hundreds of pounds each year with often, irreparable damage to your car.
We all rely on our cars - whether it’s commuting to work, taking the kids to school, or going on family trips. Imagine the inconvenience if your car suddenly broke down and had to go into the garage for a number of days. The question is, do we give our vehicles the care and attention that they require to keep us mobile?
Graham says: “Basic checks are a simple and effective operation that will ensure your car’s health and reliability. Engine oil is the lifeblood of your car, yet few of us check it on a regular basis and even worse, rely on the dashboard warning lights for guidance. But a lot of people don’t realise that the dashboard light will only appear on most cars as a last resort, by which point lasting damage to the engine will already have been done.”
The four main checks you should perform regularly on your car are:
• Engine oil
• Tyre pressure
• Screen wash
Tyre pressure varies for every make and model, so it’s important to consult your handbook to find the correct pressure for your vehicle. Studies show that up to 80% of car tyres that are replaced could probably have done an extra 8000 to 10000 miles if the pressure had been correct.
“I’ve seen a few customers coming in who have never even opened their bonnet,” says Graham, “and some whose bonnets have actually rusted shut because these checks haven’t been done. That tells us that they have never been under the bonnet, and this is quite common, even on two to three-year-old cars.”
All of the above checks take less than 5 minutes. Make sure the engine is cold, remove the dipstick and check the level marked. If oil is required, add a small amount at a time (approximately ¼ pint) and allow to settle. Then repeat as necessary until the oil level is correct. Make sure the oil cap is replaced and the dipstick replaced before starting the engine.
Graham says “This simple check could save you a breakdown, or worse, expensive engine repairs. At the same time, top up the screen wash and coolant, and check the tyre pressures, which is straightforward to carry out and is good practice. Ideally, this should be done once a fortnight, or at the very minimum, once a month.”
Ernigrip Motors were one of the first garages in the UK to specialise in Porsche, Mercedes and BMW over 25 years ago, so they have years of knowledge when it comes to quality cars. “We are a genuine alternative to taking your car back to the dealership,” explains Graham, “and we’re still one of the most recognised specialist garages, having appeared in all the trade magazines and classic car magazines over the years.”
“We now have two sites, and can carry out all types of work from a bulb fitting to a full restoration. Our staff undergo regular training, and at the moment we’re training on hybrids and electric vehicles, specialist diesel work, vehicle electronics and everything that is at the forefront. We also have a couple of staff members who exclusively work on classic cars from the 50s, 60s and 70s and take care of repairs, paintwork and restoration, which is what happens at our second site.”
Ernigrip Motors pride themselves on being a family oriented business, with Graham’s wife working on reception. “The receptionists are currently undergoing a training course to help them answer questions from customers relating to vehicles. We’re welcoming to everyone, and we love to deal with people.”
“We also give customers their old parts back, explain to them why we’ve done the job in a certain way, and the mechanic who works on the car will deal directly with the customer. We collect and deliver, and have loan cars to keep you moving while your car is being worked on. We also do corporate accounts for vans, fleet vehicles, four-wheel drives and agricultural companies.”
“We offer a personal service, we use quality parts, and are trying to encourage more customers and businesses to try us because the price of everything is going up and up in the current climate.”
“I hope that this helps with your car’s maintenance schedule and if you are unsure what to do then
contact your local independent garage who will be more than happy to advise. You could even have a look in your car’s handbook which is a good source of information.”