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[INFO] Things you need to know about car servicing

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Old 18-02-2010, 05:15 PM   #31
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wat is a alternator??

and yes thanks for the thread..learn alot frm it since it's my 1st time owning a car
I'm first time owning a car too

From my understanding, alternator is the thing that converts the motion energy from your car engine to electrical energy that charge up your battery when the engine is running.
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Old 04-03-2010, 02:57 PM   #32
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1st time car owner. Abit noob about car servicing. I just a got a 2nd hand picanto. Currently about 56km. Should I service it? If so, where should I go and any idea of the approximate cost? I understand diferent types of servicing and parts changing have different costs, so it will be good to have a rough guide on how much I should be spending.

Thanks!
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:14 AM   #33
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1st time car owner. Abit noob about car servicing. I just a got a 2nd hand picanto. Currently about 56km. Should I service it? If so, where should I go and any idea of the approximate cost? I understand diferent types of servicing and parts changing have different costs, so it will be good to have a rough guide on how much I should be spending.

Thanks!
follow your car manual
there should be a maintenance schedule that shows what needs to be replaced/inspected for every 10k interval
usually major servicing is 40k, 80k, 120k and so on
in between are normal servicing that should cost <$200
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Old 11-04-2010, 05:50 PM   #34
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I am writing this article after I wrote the last article on "Things you need to know about car insurance".

The reason for me to write this is because I find that my car servicing is getting more and more expensive! It maybe a good idea to know more information on car servicing so that I do not get cheated to change everything the workshop Uncle ask me to change.

I must state in advance that I am no car mechanic and I am just an ordinary driver on the road. I am also not in to modding car and I just drive a normal sedan. All that I am writing below are based on my experiences of car servicing in Singapore and JB. So please correct me if I am wrong and I will update accordingly. Hopefully it will be useful and can be another sticky thread =)

Engine Oil

It is a lubricant for your engine and comes in 2 types: Synthetic and Non-synthetic. Synthetic oil usually can last for 10,000 km before you need to change. My chemical engineering friend told me once that it can actually last for additional 3,000 km before the oil quality drops drastically. Non-synthetic oil on the other hand can only last for 5,000 km before you need to change. My same chemical engineering warn me not to try my luck on this one, once hit 5,500km die die must change.

I have also tried the higher quality synthetic oil verses the normal grade one. The higher quality really does gives a smoother engine. But for economic drivers like me. Just the normal one will do the job.

I have something to point out on this 1, it's not the mileage which cause the breakdown of the oil but the amount of short distance driven.

Hot oil lubs the engine better and it's takes about 20mins for the engine to warm up to working level. This will lead to the oil warming up as well.

In Singapore where driving is often not very long, it is advisable to change every 5000km and not 10,000km as stated (the 10,000km is normally for long distance driving)


Oil Filter

It is a filter that filters out dirt and rust particles from the engine oil. It has to be change whenever the engine oil is change. This is because the oil filter will usually be very dirty. I have used both original and compatible and find no difference.

This can be changed every 10,000km. If a car shop tells you, you have to change oil everytime you change the filter, go to another shop.

Spark Plugs

It is an electrical device that fits into the cylinder head of the engines. It ignites compressed fuels and creates combustion (power) of the car. Different car has different number of spark plugs and it usually comes in a set of 4. My Accord has 4 spark plugs while a Jazz has 8 spark plugs.

Different spark plugs have different life span. The more expensive and good one can last 40,000 while the normal ones can last 10,000 km to 20,000km. I have tried the original Honda spark plugs and the normal compatible ones before and I have not really felt the difference.

I sorry, but a honda Jazz only have 4 spark plugs. Only a V8 engine will have 8 spark plugs. Most of the cars in Singapore are 4 cylinder therefore only 4 spark plugs. cars like BMW which have 6 inline engines (aka straight 6) will have 6 spark plugs V6 engines will have 6 spark plugs as well.

Auto Transmission Fluid(ATF)

It is a lubricant for the auto car gear box. This lubricant has to be change usually every 25,000 km to 30,000 km. It is also recommended to flush the gear box for every 50,000 km travel. Flushing is a process in which they use the ATF oil to clean the gear box. They will have this machine to circulate the ATF in the car. It first pump out 80% of the existing ATF and circulate new the ATF in the car. The machine will keep circulate the ATF and the dirt within the gear box will dissolve in the ATF. This process is usually repeated for 3 to 4 bottle of ATF before they put the new ATF.

In my case, my car needs 4 bottles (each 1 litre) if I just want to change the ATF, but if i were to flush the gear box, then I would need additional 4 bottles. The effect is flushing ATF is quite noticeable. I feel that my auto car is smoother when it is picking up and changing gear.

Flushing a Auto Trans is to drain out the ATF in the torque converter.

Power Steering Fluid

As the name suggest, this is a lubricant for the car's power steeling. If you feel that your steeling wheel is getting heavy while turning, it is time to change the power steering fluid. If i am not wrong, this needs to be change every 30,000km or so. And it is also recommended to flush it for every 50,000km.

The effect of change is also very noticeable as I find the my steeling wheel very light after I change it.

If for whatever reason that you hear funny noise when you turn your steeling wheel (not the noise from the tyres) Then this will probably means that there is insufficient power steering fluid or you need to change the fluid

Brake Pads & Brake Fluids

I have never change brake fluids before so I have no idea how it works. However, I have changed brake pads several times. Each set of brake pads come in 4 pieces, 2 pieces for each wheel. You know you need to change the brake pad when you hear noise when braking. This is an indication that the brake pad left about 20% of pad. Each set of brake pads usually last around 35,000km for me (It varies on driving habit, for some it can last up to 100,000km ).

I have tried both original and compatible brake pads on my car. The compatible one is more noisy upon braking even it is brand new. In term of braking distance, both original and compatible are comparable in my experience.

Tyre Rotation, Balancing and Wheel Alignment

The tyres on the braking wheel general wear out a lot faster, hence it is importing to rotate them every 10,000 km. By rotating the tyres, all 4 tyres will wear out evenly and you do not have to change the tyres so often. Each set of tyres usually last for 30,000km to 40,000km but I have a friend who drove the tyres for 60,000km before he changes his 4 tyres! I drove his Camry before he changes his tyres and the car is still quite ok.

It is also good to do your wheel alignment every 20,000 or 30,000 km. This is because if the wheel alignment is off, one side of your car tyre will wear off a lot faster. You know that your wheel alignment is off when you let go your steeling wheel on a straight road and the cars go to one side immediately.

Air Filter

It removes dust particular from the air that is going into the engine for combustion. The cleaner the air, the better the combustion. No hard rule of when to change. You just got to change it whenever it is dirty. One way to verify if the air filter is dirty is the take out the air filter and hit on the floor or wall. If there is a lot of carbon dropping out, then it's time to change the air filter.

Not true, ait filters should be changed or reoiled every 10,000km.

Timing Belt or any other belts you see

If you see they wear out then it is time to change. No compromise on this one. This is because once the belt is torn, chances are that your car will not move and over heat very quickly. Once the engine over heats, then the repair bill will be huge and you only can get the tow truck to bring your car to the workshop.

ANY belt has to be changed every 50,000km and the time belt at about 100,00km.
A normal car has your aircon belt, alternator belt, waterpump belt and Timing belt.

If you break your aircon belt it's not tat bad (but also depending on the system it's running), alternator belt means your car battery will not be charging, water pump belt means your car will over heat and if the timing belt is not done and it slips, you need a new engine.


Others

Change your wipers when it not working well.
Top up air-con gas if the air condition is not working well.
Ensure correct pressure on your tyres whenever you can.

That's all for the time being. Hope it helps the people here. I stress again I am not a mechanic and all the above information is based on my past servicing experience. I am just a normal sedan driver and not into modding cars. Do feel free to add on and I will try to update whenever i can. =)
If your aircon gas need topping up, means you have a leak somewhere in the system, the gas should not have any means of getting out of the system at all.
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Old 13-05-2010, 10:24 PM   #35
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hi guys, as stated, normal servicing is ard <$200. what does normal servicing include? also, is changing of front brake pad and air filter cost around $150? a shop quote me that pricing. thanks
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Old 26-05-2010, 12:19 AM   #36
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just a quick question. my father car goes straight when the steering is towards the right side, will doing the alignment will correct it??
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Old 13-07-2010, 11:17 AM   #37
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just a quick question. my father car goes straight when the steering is towards the right side, will doing the alignment will correct it??
Yes, BUT check get someone to check if the lower control arms bushes are worn out.

It could also be the idle arm bushes are worn out as well.

But most of the time an alignment will sort things out.
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Old 16-08-2010, 08:33 PM   #38
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While driving, I hear a constant beeping sound at the driver's seat. What could have caused this?

Also, when the accelerator pedal or the brake pedal is depressed, I can hear a sound coming from the back. This is something like water waves crashing against the shore. What could be the problem for this?

And when starting the engine, it could not start the first crank. it only started in the 2nd crank. Could this be a sign of dying battery or?

I am getting a 4 half year old Altis 1.6A, and it has done 100,000 km already. What should I do before, or after getting the car? Thanks in advance!!! =)

Last edited by ajax_84; 16-08-2010 at 08:41 PM..
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Old 30-08-2010, 08:29 AM   #39
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While driving, I hear a constant beeping sound at the driver's seat. What could have caused this?

Also, when the accelerator pedal or the brake pedal is depressed, I can hear a sound coming from the back. This is something like water waves crashing against the shore. What could be the problem for this?

And when starting the engine, it could not start the first crank. it only started in the 2nd crank. Could this be a sign of dying battery or?

I am getting a 4 half year old Altis 1.6A, and it has done 100,000 km already. What should I do before, or after getting the car? Thanks in advance!!! =)
for the "water waves crashing against the shore" sounds, there can be a number of reasons, from things in your boot (spare wheel area) have come lose and is flopping around or your bushes have worn out. It normally a case of looking high and low for the sound first before anything can be done.

Have you had your spark plugs changed before? At 100,000km, there is a high chance that they are worn out.

You should be going for your major service soon (timing belt, water pump, seals..) get them to change the spark plugs at the same time.

If after changing them there is still the same thing, get your alternator checked.

Or it could be a weak battery as well.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:23 AM   #40
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I am currently driving a Vios 1.5A. Going for a 40K km servicing next. Mechanic advise me to replace my wet cell battery. Any brand recommended and where to purchase? Sourcing for a cheaper source if there is. Thanks
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:09 AM   #41
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this is a WOB thread that is too generalised and does not help at all

syn oil 10,000km in SG condition
good luck

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Old 25-10-2010, 06:36 PM   #42
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this is a WOB thread that is too generalised and does not help at all

syn oil 10,000km in SG condition
good luck

Actually depend on ur usage la.. if low usage and dun whack so much, 10k oil change is fine especially for fully syn oil.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:01 PM   #43
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need help with general price guide to Alignment and balancing
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Old 28-12-2010, 08:13 PM   #44
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got any good car servicing workshop in the west?? plz recommend me, thanks want to change my timing belt soon
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Old 25-01-2011, 02:25 PM   #45
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any gd service wk shop to recommend???
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