16 May 2023

Irish motorists skipping services to save money

Irish motorists are driving less, skipping car services, and putting off buying new cars, all because they're being hit by the cost of living crisis, writes Brian Byrne. These are some of the results of a survey conducted by Ford Ireland, whose Market lead has warned that skipping the services could lead to expensive repairs.

The survey indicated that more than half of respondents, especially women, were cutting back on mileage driven in order to save money. One in three reported their were either delaying or totally skipping the annual service. And one in five are either delaying the purchase of a new car, or opting to go for a secondhand one.

"By skipping or delaying a service, a motorist may well be saving money in the short term," says Ford Ireland's John Manning. "But they could be storing up longer term problems that will cost even more money in the long run”. He noted that during a service a technician will change oil, which prevents sludge building up in the engine's critical parts. 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”.

Regular services also mean that checks are carried out on other critical areas of a car in safety and proper running terms, including watching for corrosion and paintwork damage, checking lights and alignment, brakes and brake fluid moisture content, tyres and tread depth and the pollen and cabin filter.

"Above all, motorists must not allow their desire to save money impact on safety," John Manning says. "Following the correct service schedule for a vehicle will ensure your car is in the best condition to protect you and your family."