Earlier we talked about the consequences of neglection of a proper service and maintenance schedule of automobiles. It just so happens that over maintenance is also a wrong practice.
How could meticulously, even obsessively maintaining a car be wrong practice? Surely it doesn’t cause any harm to replace the consumables a few thousand klicks before the manufacturer recommends they be changed? I’m just ensuring my car lives a long life in the process!
Turns out, there is no need of advancing manufacturer-recommended timelines to your own shorter intervals. Modern cars have much higher reliability and tolerances than earlier examples. Manufacturers use supremely accurate production processes to ensure the cars pass their own lofty levels of quality inspection. This exacting approach results in machines of today being very dependable in terms of mechanical solidarity. Which is why they do not need over maintenance. But what is over maintenance anyway?
Performing services more frequently than recommended by the manufacturer, replacing parts that still have useful service life remaining, even using additives that are not recommended; all of these come under over maintenance. Common instances of over maintenance include overtly frequent replacement of fluids and filter elements, unnecessary ‘flushes’, addition of various fuel, oil, and other additives that are not recommended and promise to boost performance or efficiency. There is no significant benefit of over maintaining your vehicle, with the only side effect being the extra expenditures you incur over time.
Be wary of some forms of over maintenance that is unfortunately common practice in the auto service business:
Modern engine oils are designed to last between 8,000 to 12,000km before being replaced. Some full synthetic oils even last as long as 16,000km between changes. Follow the intervals specified in your car’s manual, or change it when the in-car maintenance monitor recommends it.
As a rule of thumb, if light passes through more than half of the filtering element which looks like it needs to be replaced, the air filter can last at least until the next oil change. Some filters do not pass light through even when new, so it is best to follow the automaker’s recommended change intervals.
If your car does not want to stay on a set course even when you are pointing it straight, it is time for an alignment. Same is the case if the tyres unusual and uneven wear patterns. Otherwise, only when you change tyres do you need to align the wheels.
Modern spark plugs are designed to last as much as 150,000km due to their platinum-tipped electrodes. The only other instances when you need to change a spark plug is when it is diagnosed as the source of a vehicle problem. Again, manufacturer guidelines are good enough to be followed.
Inspection and maintenance of these two crucial systems are not required periodically. These systems should be inspected by a qualified technician only if problems relating to these crop up.
Here is where most people are likely to be ripped off. Most automotive service centers sell fluid ‘flushes’ as part of routine maintenance. These flushes neither help the car’s internals in any way nor do they damage anything. In simple words, they are an unnecessary expense which can be avoided easily.
In simple words, as long as the aircon is blowing cold air in the cabin, there is no need to service or overhaul the air-conditioning system. If there is no cold air, then it is cause for an inspection and, if required, repair.
Featured Image Credit: Auto Finesse