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Your car is getting more complicated – it’s a truth which is embarrassing many car owners when it comes to even some of the most basic maintenance tasks such as oil changes, oil top ups, brake fluid top ups, cooling system top up – even screenwash top up!

Why the embarrassment? Well, what were basic tasks have now become a lot more complicated, requiring car specific knowledge and a level of expertise your average car owner simply doesn’t have. We hear stories on a weekly basis where customers are performing basic maintenance tasks in the hope of saving some money, unfortunately many of these stories end in disaster and, more cost.

Many people apply the same routine to weekly maintenance and checks that they always have, however with cars getting more complicated, the implications of getting it wrong are getting more serious.

Let’s bring this to a life with an example, topping up your oil is one of the more basic tasks, however the implications of getting it wrong are extremely serious. We heard a story recently where a ‘routine’ oil top up and a slight misunderstanding of the oil dipstick resulted in the car owner over-filling the engine with oil. Being a small petrol engine with a turbo the oil is vital to reliable operation of the turbocharger that spins at up to 60,000 revs per minute. Unfortunately in the case mentioned the oil overfill resulted in the complete failure of the turbo, costing hundreds of pounds in parts alone – and, with the turbo not being a typical service part, the cost of labour was also high.

This is just one example, but there are several major problems that can be caused by seemingly minor or incidental mistakes – wrong oil, mixing oils, mixing brake fluids, fluids in wrong reservoirs, wrong ratio of anti-freeze to water, wrong tyre pressures…..the list could go on!

The message for this week – ‘think before you dabble’ – as it could end up costing you a fortune!