Servicing and Maintaining your Cars

Image of mechanicAs a motor trader you can have hundreds of cars to look after and maintain all at once, which can sometimes be a very tricky task. If you don’t keep your cars well maintained they can begin to deteriorate quickly and you could end up being hit with a large repair bill. We have previously written about how motor traders can make profit and if you don’t follow these tips you may end up losing money…

Servicing

As all motor traders know, it is best to get your car serviced on a yearly basis and carry out regular maintenance. Getting your car serviced yearly should catch any problems before they begin to cause other damage or become un-fixable. Keeping this service history will give your car a better resale value and it should last longer. You will also find that having a well looked after car will make it more efficient, saving your customers money on fuel.

Service Manual

Your cars’ service manuals will tell you all about the history of the vehicles in your care, including:
• When the car requires its next service
• How often you should carry out maintenance jobs i.e. changing oil
• When any replacements on the vehicles should be made

Your service manuals can also be used to help you plan your finances because you will know when you need to next pay out money for the car. Follow the schedule that your service manuals provide otherwise you could end up spending unnecessary money.

Keep an eye on your dashboard

Modern cars usually have warning messages on the dashboard to inform you of any issues with the car. This includes problems with the engine, tyre pressure, oil, coolant and brakes however your owner’s manual will tell you what each warning means and the actions you need to take.

The warning lights can be crucial so you should make sure you pay attention to them and not use the cars if one comes on. If you were to carry on driving the vehicle you could end up damaging it beyond repair, thus making it unsellable.

Skipping a service could cost you more

All motor traders will tell you that skipping a service will only cost you more in the long run. A car service averages at £125 however if you were to have problems with other parts of the car you could end up paying double or even more.

For example, these parts cost on average:
• Water Pump: £240
• Radiator: £430
• Cylinder head gasket: £520
• Engine Exchange: £2,575

Check your Cambelt

Cambelts (also known as timing belts or camshafts) can cost around £250 to replace, however if it breaks when one of your customers are driving it could seriously damage the engine which would end up costing more in the long run.

Look in your service manual to find out when you need to change your vehicles’ cambelts. It is different for every car but it is usually around 70,000 miles.

Tyres

Looking after your tyres is important as they can also keep your car safe to drive as well as save you money. Tyres wear away the more you drive therefore you should check the tread depth on your tyres on a regular basis along with the tyre pressure. If the tyre pressure isn’t at the recommended level then your tyres can begin to wear away unevenly meaning they will need to be replaced quicker. Regularly checking the tracking to see if you tyres are out of alignment is also a good idea as this can also result in them wearing unevenly.

Working in the motor trade can be difficult if you own many different cars, however you need to make sure you keep up to date with all the parts and ensure they are well maintained to save yourself money in the long run.

Photo by Dickelbers / CC BY-SA 3.0