Owning a used car in the UAE means staying on top of your car servicing and maintenance requirements. While regular checkups help you catch surface-level problems, preventative car maintenance allows you to identify and fix significant issues before they become more significant.
One way to learn more about your car servicing schedule is to follow your car owner's manual. It has a detailed maintenance section, from warning lights on the dashboard and significant belt replacements to standard oil changes. But if you don't have a car owner's manual, we can help!
Here is a list of items you should include in your car servicing checklist to maintain your vehicle and keep it in pristine condition in the UAE.
WHAT REGULAR MAINTENANCE SHOULD BE DONE ON A CAR?
The frequency of car maintenance depends on what the manufacturer recommends and how you use your vehicle. You can add maintenance items that must be checked monthly, quarterly, and annually. Here is how you can divide the checklist into three categories.
1. MONTHLY CAR MAINTENANCE
●Check the oil, coolant, washer fluid, or brake fluid level
●Check the windshield and clean the wiper blades
●Check the power of the headlights
●Check the tire pressure, condition, and tread
2. QUARTERLY CAR MAINTENANCE
●Change the oil filter
●Inspect the fan belt
●Check the hoses for cracks
●Inspect the battery and cables
●Check the power steering fluid
●Change the automatic transmission fluid
Read More: Reasons for oil warning light in used cars UAE
3. ANNUAL CAR MAINTENANCE
●Flush the coolant
●Inspect the spark plugs
●Change the engine air filter and air cabin filter
●Lubricate doors, windows, and hinges
●Check brakes and wheel bearings
●Check steering and suspension
WHAT IS THE BASIC MAINTENANCE OF A CAR?
A basic car servicing plan often involves a thorough check of your vehicle and immediate attention to parts subjected to normal wear and tear. Get monthly, quarterly, and annual car maintenance at a car servicing center to ensure smooth functioning.
1. THE FLUIDS
It is good to get under the car's hood and check the level of five fluids in your used car:
engine oil, power steering fluid, coolant, brake fluid, and transmission fluid. While low levels of these fluids can lead to engine problems, overfilling can cause issues like foaming and air bubbles.
Consider understanding the right level for each liquid and filling it accordingly, ensuring high performance. Also, check the oil filters regularly and replace them to achieve better mileage.
Read More: Common signs of a radiator leak
2. THE TIRES
Incorrectly inflated tires cause handling problems and lead your vehicle not to accelerate, brake and steer properly. Tire treads wear out over time and affect the antilock brake and traction control systems, lowering the speed of your car.
You can increase its life and reduce fuel consumption with proper tire maintenance. You could potentially save tanks of fuel and avoid bad wear patterns. Consider rotating, balancing, and aligning the tires regularly to avoid uneven wear and prevent premature replacement.
3. THE LIGHTS
most car drivers neglect regular light servicing, compromising road visibility. The
illumination produced by headlights deteriorates over time due to harsh weather conditions and dirt. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the headlights are working correctly and are well-positioned once a month. Ideally, check this when the car is parked on a flat surface.
Visually inspect your car's parking lights and turn signals.
4. OTHER THINGS TO CHECK
It is necessary to check the CV gaiters and joints for wear or splits, power steering fluid and top-up, and monitor the exhaust quality, security, and oil levels on the rear axle and transfer case. Also, examine the gearbox oil, steering and suspension connections, ensure exteriors are cleaned and waxed and ask for paint jobs to cover scratches if necessary. Additionally, inspect and repair the car's electronics, including the AC and radio, as part of a comprehensive service.
Time adds wear and tear to your vehicle, so it is best to provide a detailed and step-by-step inspection every so often.
WHAT IS A PROFESSIONAL FULL-CAR SERVICE?
Depending on your vehicle's condition, a thorough car service, as compared to regular service, includes additional item checks, such as checking the car damage or monitoring the operation of suspension dampers. Here is a quick checklist required for full car servicing:
1. CAR ENGINE
The engine is the heart of your vehicle and needs to run smoothly to keep your car moving. Regular servicing of your engine and its parts can improve your vehicle's performance and give you better mileage. You may need to look after a few things to maintain the health of your car engines, such as fuel leakage, fuel filters, pump, rubber belts, spark plugs, and wires to avoid further issues.
2. THE BATTERIES
You should pay extra attention to your car batteries when it comes to routine maintenance. A regular checkup can help identify surface problems, but it is crucial to examine the battery enclosure for clean and corrosion-free connections. You can use terminal protectors and sprays to prevent battery terminals from getting corroded. Also, ensure you update your car battery to avoid unexpected problems throughout the year if it is over two years old.
3. THE AIR FILTERS
The air filter in your car circulates the air inside your vehicle's engine. If it gets clogged due to dirt and debris, the fuel combustion remains incomplete and leads to dirty exhaust smoke, affecting your health. Additionally, irregular maintenance of air filters can also cause engine failure and affect the vehicle's performance.
4. FLUID TRANSFER SYSTEM
The transfer case system transmits the power from the transmission to the axles in four-wheel drive vehicles. If the fluid becomes contaminated or runs low, it can lead to the failure of deferential and its related parts. You can inspect the system every 30,000 miles or whenever you detect any irregularity or malfunction.
5. THE WIPERS
The frequent weather changes affect windshield wiper rubber and make it hard and brittle, impairing your visibility and making driving unsafe. However, changing wiper blades on time might help you maintain good eyesight when driving at night in the UAE.
You can check the condition of the wiper blades by running your fingers along the edge and checking for fraying rubber or wear and tear. Also, check how quickly your wipers clean water from the windscreen. If puddles of a water leak or smear marks are left, you may need to install new wipers.
6. THE COOLANT
Coolant contains chemicals that stop corrosion damage inside the engine. Consider checking the coolant level in your car's radiator to keep your engine cool and functioning correctly. Frequent flushing helps remove contaminants from your cooling system and ensures your radiator stays fully hydrated.
7. SERPENTINE / DRIVE BELT
Your vehicle's serpentine belt is indispensable to keeping your car running, as it powers peripheral devices, such as your alternator, power steering pump, and air conditioner compressor. The mechanic should examine the belt to ensure no cracks or other signs of wear and tear.
Following a car maintenance schedule and keeping good records can extend your vehicle's life and avoid costly repairs, breakdowns, and other surprises.
How long does car servicing take in UAE?
A complete vehicle servicing requires a minimum of three hours to finish. However, the time needed for a car service depends on the selected package and the extra service/repair requirements. A basic repair, such as an air filter/brake/tire check, will take around 15-20 minutes, depending on the damage to the automobile. An interim inspection will take approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.
How much does car servicing cost in the UAE?
While a quick check of your air conditioner can run you up to 250 AED, a car's full-service cost goes around AED 5500 to AED 6000. However, the servicing cost varies according to the type of car, the distinct models, and the service centre you visit for your vehicle.
What are the three types of car services?
Generally, there are three types of car service: Interim, Full and Major. Whenever you take your vehicle to different car servicing centres or garages, the professionals may bring variations to their packages based on your vehicle requirements and charge according to the type of service.