Skip car services and beware of sludge, says Ford

Ford dealers from across the country are reporting that, in the current tough economic environment, a significant number of car owners are opting to forego their car’s annual service.

However, Dave Pimlott, customer service director, says Ford's advice to motorists who are considering skipping a car service is to think twice.

"You may well be saving money in the short term, but you could be storing up longer term problems that will cost you even more money in the long run.

“During a normal service, your Ford Dealer will always change the oil, which is a critical part of maintaining the proper functioning of your car’s engine. Missing an oil change can cause sludge to build up in the engine. This sludge can lead to increased engine wear, reduced engine performance, and consequently, reduced fuel economy. In extreme cases, sludge build-up can negatively impact on your car’s emissions, which could lead to a car failing the NCT. In addition to causing increased emissions and reduced fuel economy, sludge can cause long-term damage to an engine that could be very costly to put right.”

Pimlott says not many motorists realise that not adhering to a correct service schedule could also void the manufacturer’s warranty on the car.

"When a vehicle is being serviced, a reputable car dealer will carry out a free health check of the car, pointing out anything that might need remedial action or other items that may need action in the coming weeks or months. In this way, bringing a car for a regular annual service, helps to pre-empt any major problems that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. Manufacturers recommend an annual service that would help to flag up issues with the car before they become serious – it is for that reason that some manufacturers consider a car’s warranty to be null and void if a car has missed more than one service action.

“In addition to changing the oil, a reputable technician will also carry out a check on: corrosion and paintwork; lights and alignment; brakes / brake fluid moisture content; tyres and tread depth; and pollen and cabin filter. All of which will keep a car running at its most fuel efficient and, not least, will ensure that safety is also at optimum levels,” says Pimlott.

Owners of Ford cars older than five years have no excuse for skipping a service with a Ford Motorcraft service for their car costing €129. And for van drivers who are experiencing a bounce in business as part of the recent uplift in the economy, the Ford Motorcraft service is available for Ford vans five years or older from €169. For more details on the Ford Motorcraft car and van service offer, contact a local Ford dealer.

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