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Journeys : June July 2009
Life on the move Hi-tech hook-up T he days of servicing your own vehicle or getting a mate who knows a bit about cars to do it are just about gone. Servicing modern vehicles is much more than simply dropping the oil and changing the filter. In fact, just finding the location of the oil filter and then removing it can be a task in itself without the specific tool and a workshop manual. Routine servicing will usually involve the vehicle being hooked-up to a diagnostic scan tool that will interrogate the car’s electronics and alert the technician of any problem areas. All manufacturers’ dealers have this equipment and reputable repair businesses such as RACT Approved Repairers have made a significant investment in diagnostic equipment for a wide range of modern vehicles. While servicing intervals for new vehicles can range from 5000-25,000 kilometres, it’s vitally important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. The vehicle’s service manual acts as a log book and whether the job is done at a dealer or another repairer, having the log book stamped and signed will add value to the vehicle when it comes time to sell. The service manual will also advise you of the appropriate time that should be charged for that service. Remember that this designated time is for a vehicle being used in ideal conditions. Under severe operating conditions, such as frequent heavy towing or extensive use on gravel roads, other parts may need replacing. The use of non-genuine parts, particularly if the vehicle is still under warranty, needs to be carefully considered – it could leave you stuck in the middle of an argument between a parts supplier and the vehicle manufacturer, with neither party willing to accept responsibility for a failure. It’s much more difficult for a manufacturer to reject a claim if genuine parts have been used. Another point to note is the myriad of oils on the market. It is important to use good-quality oil with the correct viscosity rating. Many modern cars use multiplevalve, variable cam-timing, cylinder shutdown technology and have extremely ADVERTISEMENT This is what a healthy eye looks like. close tolerances throughout the engine. An oil that is too thick when cold or not thick enough when hot can have a detrimental effect on the internals of the engine. Check with your repairer that the oil they’re using is the recommended type for your car. For more advice on servicing your vehicle, please contact RACT Technical Advice on 6232 6333. Darren Moody Authorised by the Australian Government, Capital Hill, Canberra. 18 June / July 09 NEH001/M/MN/LHS/120x420
April May 2009
August September 2009