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Service, I say service! Tips from IAM RoadSmart

Being safe, reliant and efficient road users are the key things that enable greater safety on the roads and allow them to run smoothly. It is vital to continue this mission of endless safety by maintaining your vehicle and ensuring that is serviced and up-to-date. This week’s tips give advice as to why it is important to get your motor serviced, from IAM RoadSmart’s head of technical policy and advice Tim Shallcross.

  • Make sure the oil and oil filter are changed on time and the correct engine oil is used; neglecting an oil change or using the wrong oil is the quickest way to increase wear on a modern engine, especially for highly stressed parts such as turbochargers and pistons


  • Anti-freeze must be checked every year and should be changed every other year.It does much more than protect the engine in winter; it prevents corrosion inside the engine.Blown head gaskets are a typical symptom of not enough or old antifreeze


  • Change the timing (cam) belt on time, when the mileage or age limit is reached.It might look OK and it's an expensive job, but if the belt breaks, it generally means you need a new engine


  • The alternator drive belt must be inspected at each service and changed if worn or when the manufacturer recommends.If it suddenly snaps, you suddenly lose power steering on most cars


  • The cabin air filter or pollen filter keeps clean air coming in through the heater vents.If it isn't changed on time, you may get debris in the heater unit which is expensive to remove and clear and you will be more prone to misted up windows restricting your view

Tim said: “Make sure the service is noted properly in the car's record book and the garage stamps it.  A full, documented service history makes the car much easier to sell; no history or gaps can knock hundreds or even thousands of pounds off the price you'll get.”

Notes to editors:

  1. Tim Shallcross is IAM RoadSmart’s Head of Technical Policy and Advice.
  2. IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.

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