Friday August 11 2017

Why you must make car servicing routine

Drivers, traffic consultants and mechanics

Drivers, traffic consultants and mechanics check out some parts of the car during the training in Kampala recently. Refresher courses remind drivers of the need to be reasonable and take charge while driving. PHOTO BY JUDE KATENDE 

By Esther Bridget Nakalya

Just like a relationship, a car needs regular care and servicing and good servicing at that.
Roland Mayanja, 36, has been with his girlfriend for the last six years and the relationship, he believes, has been kept alive “because of the care I give to her”.
Cars, like relationships, must be spiced up and given the care that they deserve irrespective of the condition. It might be an old car but good servicing keeps it in shape.
“In your endeavour to service that car, let it not be bad times to define your vigilance,” he says pointing out that many people think of servicing their cars when they begin having unusual functionalities or letting out black fumes from the exhaust pipe.
“Just like a relationship, be thoughtfulness, your car needs care to keep in shape,” he says.
The main parts that need regular care, according to Jackson Mutaya, a lubricant technician and service man at Total, Kibuli, include engine oil, hydraulic, brakes, spark plugs and oil filters, among others.
These parts, Mutaya says, are susceptible to damage and have severe consequences if they are neglected compared to others.
“They are the weak link in the car. Keep regular checkups on them to avoid damage that might have dire consequences,” he says.

Where to service car from
Servicing cars can be done in a number of garages and fuel stations but a number of specilised service stations have also come up to offer the same service.
For instance, fuel service stations such as City Oil, Total and Shell; among others service bays service cars in addition to selling other parts such as tyres, spare parts and petroleum products. However, a number of car and spare parts importers such as CMC Motors, City Tyres and Spears Motor have also established service centres that work on specialised works and brands.
CMC Motors has a Quick Lane Service Station that diagnoses complex and computerised car system for particular brands while City Tyres has a fully computerised tyre centre and selling point.
“I service my car at City Oil, Shell or Total petrol stations, where I normally change engine oil, oil filters and air cleaner, among other parts,” says 28-year-old Paul Kaweesa.
According to Kaweesa, on average it costs him about Shs75,000 with the highest rate being Shs150,000 if it requires him to replace some parts. Comprehensive servicing can cost between Shs500,000 and Shs1m considering type of the car.
However, Mutaya cautions against opting for service centres that will instead give you more trouble.
“Look out for good car service points and opt for trusted mechanics,” he says.

When to service
According to Paul Kaweesa, a motorist, a car can be serviced after a particular period of time but the recommended mileage is between 10,000 and 15,000 kilometres considering the type and age of the car. The mileage can translate to between eight and 12 months.
“For engine oil, change must be done in consideration with mileage and it must follow a particular routine to keep your car in shape,” says Jackson Mutatya, a serviceman at Total. However, the difference in engine oil, according to Mutatya, also determines how long someone can take to service their car with some oils allowing for as low as 3,000 and 5,000 kilometers, which translate to about six or less than six months.


Why you must service:
Servicing your car not only keeps it in good shape but saves it from becoming a menace to other road users.
“Every time I service my car, I feel safe and I know and feel whatever changes occur within and around it,” Ivan Kayondo, who services his car at Shell Bugolobi, Kampala, says.
This, he says, has helped him to understand his car and keep it in check in case of eventualities.
He pays attention to each detail such as tyres and engine that have the potential to easily cause accidents. He services his car at least every after eight months and six months if he has travelled long distances .