2020-Car-Service-910Among the major long-term running costs of a car, besides fuel, is the cost of servicing. Preventative maintenance is essential to avoiding costly breakdowns. Once a component fails, it will need to be replaced or repaired, often at far greater cost than if you'd gotten the vehicle looked at ahead of time. This is before we even factor in the inevitability that breakdowns tend to occur at the worse possible time.

An occasional service, then, should be looked at as a sensible investment for the long-term. But what are the most common faults uncovered by a vehicle service, and which vehicles are more susceptible? Thanks to insurance data, we're able to confidently answer these questions. Let's assess a few of the usual suspects.

Gearbox Problems

If your vehicle's gearbox fails, it'll become undrivable. Add this to the fact that every gearbox is fantastically complex, and you come close to understanding why gearbox failure accounts for so many insurance claims. If a service identifies an issue with the gearbox, it should be addressed quickly.

Gearbox failures have many potential causes, but they all stem from friction, which causes wear-and-tear. Inadequate lubrication obviously increases friction. But if you leave the same oil in the gearbox for too long, then it'll become more susceptible to wear and tear, as the particulates will begin to accumulate, and water ingress might also cause problems.

Electrical Problems

Given that modern vehicles are loaded with more technology than ever before, it should come as no surprise that there's more opportunity for electrical failure to hold back the car. That ‘check engine' light could now refer to hundreds of different faults with the ECU and elsewhere. On top of that, there's the need to replace headlamps and indicators.

Clutch Problems

Your clutch can last anywhere from fifty to a hundred-thousand miles, depending on your driving behaviour. Myriad factors can lead to premature aging. If you press your foot down too suddenly, or habitually drive around with your foot partially depressed, for example, then the chances are that your clutch won't last as long as it otherwise might have done.

Many of the early warning signs of clutch failure come from the pedal itself. If it starts to feel loose, spongy, stiff or bouncy, or you're hearing a grinding noise whenever you change gear, then the chances are that your clutch is in need of attention.

Fuel Filter Problems

Your vehicle comes with a special device designed to prevent contaminants from finding their way into the fuel supply, and protects your engine. Small lumps of debris can wreak havoc on an engine – especially a high-performance one. For the meagre cost of replacing a fuel filter, you'll be able to save yourself an incredibly costly repair.

How can I avoid problems?

It's critical that preventative work is carried out by a competent person. For this reason, it's important to track down a reputable, experience pair of hands. Allied Autocare provide exactly that sort of service – and the investment invariably pays for itself in avoided stress alone!