The latest selling gimmick of the producers of fine automobiles is the concept that your brand new $80,000 car which is comprised mostly of plastic only needs to be serviced four times in its life. Car salesmen strutting their KMart suits with sagging crotchs sprout all sorts of rubbish to land a sale and the craze of extended service intervals is something that has been around for a few years now.
In a similar fashion to “fuel consumption stickers” and capped price servicing, the salesman is not giving you the full picture. Rather he is just using trigger words to land a commission so he can brag about an income that rivals most people with a degree.
Many manufactures are now releasing vehicles with service intervals between fifteen thousand kilometres anywhere up to thirty-five thousand kilometres. What a great line to sell a car. You only need to service this three times in 100,000KMS. But lets look at the actual facts surrounding this.
Firstly, the fine print on these figures state “except in extreme driving conditions” lets define extreme driving conditions. In most cases this is any climate that regularly has the temperature drop below twelve degrees celsius or above twenty four degrees celsius. Guess what? That’s all of Australia. It then says extreme conditions are environments exposed to high winds, dust, dirt, snow or salt. This also covers all of Australia. So basically any environment except when its parked inside a showroom eliminates the long service intervals.
Secondly, somewhere in the encyclopaedic sized handbook it states that vehicles with these long service intervals that the owner is required to check and top up the engine oil every time you put fuel in the car. This is because modern vehicles run oil that is such a thin grade that the engines burn it (or if its a VW it leaks out). How many of you are checking your oil at the petrol station?
Finally, if you are only servicing your car once every 30,000kms you will be putting every filter known to man, brakes and tyres on the car every service. It might only be four times in the life of the car but each service will cost you thousands. Is it not more wise to stagger this cost out over several services every six months.
For these reasons alone it is strongly advised that you totally ignore your manufacturers recommendations of long service intervals. We advise every 5,000kms at the longest every 10,000kms to maximise the life of your vehicle.