Can’t tell your coolant from your transmission fluid? Singapore experts tell AZLINDA SAID what happens when you send your car for a servicing.

Can’t tell your coolant from your transmission fluid? Singapore experts tell AZLINDA SAID what happens when you send your car for a servicing.
EXPERTS:
The Automobile Association of Singapore and retail executive Linda Teo from Stamford Tyres, which also runs car workshops.
THE BASICS…
• Service your car once every six months, or at every 10,000km mileage interval, whichever comes first.
• Go to the same workshop – it would have your records and won’t service parts that had already been taken care of at the previous servicing.
• Be prepared to spend between $160 and $400 for each servicing, depending on your service package in relation to your car’s mileage. Extras like changing the belts, brake
pads and tyres will cost more. For example, one tyre change can cost between $150 and $200. Labour cost ranges from $20 to $40.
What you must do at every car servicing…
1 Tyre Pressure
WHAT Tyre pressure affects your car’s ability to turn corners and brake. 
WHY Tyre leaks happen very slowly so regular pressure checks will ensure punctures are detected early. But you shouldn’t wait until your regular servicing is due to check your tyre pressure; do it yourself fortnightly at any petrol station.
2 Engine oil
WHAT The oil keeps your engine lubricated, so the parts don’t rub against each other and wear out. Your mechanic will drain and replace the oil, as well as replace the oil filter. Expect to pay between $50 and $200, depending on your car’s size.
WHY The filter removes contaminants like carbon and dirt; these build up in the oil and can corrode and damage the engine.
3 Brakes
WHAT The brake pads, lining and rotor are part of the brake system and are housed next to each of the wheels. They push against one another to create friction, which stops the car. A key indication your brakes are wearing out will be a loud screeching sound each time you step on the brake pedal.
WHY Faulty brakes mean your car will take a longer time to come to a complete halt, making it hard for you to gauge a safe stopping distance. If left unchecked and unchanged, the brakes could fail completely.
4 Drive Belt
WHAT The drive belt is a rubber belt used to power multiple devices in your car, such as
the alternator, power-steering pump, water pump, air-con compressor and air pump. It creates higher tension in your vehicle, leading to less friction in the engine, and giving your car a better overall performance. 
WHY Drive belts wear out from use, and will eventually crack and decay from ozone in the air. If it breaks, the numerous components it powers will stop working, leading to a
damaged or overheated engine. 
5 Spark Plugs 
WHAT These little devices inside the engine’s cylinders ignite the petrol, which combusts to power the car.
WHY Old spark plugs can cause the engine to misfire and run poorly, leading to jerky driving; your car will be unable to accelerate properly.
6 Tyre Rotation
WHAT This means swopping the front tyres with the rear ones, as well as reversing the
direction in which they turn.
WHY This ensures the tyres wear out more evenly; front tyres are usually worked harder on the roads. By rotating them, each tyre is exposed to different types of wear and tear instead of having one tyre expire faster than the rest.
HOW OFTEN Decline this service if you have recently changed your tyres and have yet to hit the six month mark or travelled 10,000km.
Only when recommended by your mechanic…
1 Power-steering Fluid
WHAT This is the hydraulic fluid that transmits the power in your steering wheel – it makes the wheel turn more smoothly.
WHY Certain components in your car’s power-steering system will wear out over time. Changing the fluid prolongs the life of the car’s power-steering capabilities.
HOW OFTEN Usually at every 40,000km mileage interval. 
2 Timing Belt
WHAT This belt allows the car engine valves to open and close; without it, the engine can’t run.
WHY If the belt breaks suddenly from wear and tear, the engine will be damaged.
HOW OFTEN Usually at every 80,000km or 100,000km mileage interval.
3 Air Filter
WHAT The filter prevents contaminants like grit, dust, and dirt from entering the engine.
The mechanic will replace it once it gets too dirty.
WHY If the air filter is clogged up, the engine will not be able to suck enough air into the combustion chambers and your car will lose power. A dirty filter can lead to inefficient fuel usage and a neglected filter could make your car stop running altogether.
HOW OFTEN It depends on the environment you drive in – dusty roads and construction sites cause the filter to get dirtier faster. You can go a year without changing it.
4 Coolant/Anti-freeze
WHAT This liquid ensures the engine doesn’t overheat.
WHY The coolant will break down over time in a hot environment, which will result in engine blockage and overheating.
HOW OFTEN Usually at every 40,000km mileage interval.
5 Transmission Fluid
WHAT This acts as a cooling lubricant for all the moving parts inside your car’s transmission, also known as the gearbox. It also transfers energy from the engine to the wheels to move the car. 
WHY If the fluid isn’t replaced when required, components inside the transmission system can overheat and fail.
HOW OFTEN Usually at every 40,000km mileage interval.
This article was originally published in Simply Her Feb 2012Can’t tell your coolant from your transmission fluid? Singapore experts tell AZLINDA SAID what happens when you send your car for a servicing.

Car Maintenance
EXPERTS: The Automobile Association of Singapore and retail executive Linda Teo from Stamford Tyres, which also runs car workshops. Image: Getty Images

THE BASICS 

  • Service your car once every six months, or at every 10,000km mileage interval, whichever comes first.
  • Go to the same workshop – it would have your records and won’t service parts that had already been taken care of at the previous servicing.
  • Be prepared to spend between $160 and $400 for each servicing, depending on your service package in relation to your car’s mileage. Extras like changing the belts, brakepads and tyres will cost more. For example, one tyre change can cost between $150 and $200. Labour cost ranges from $20 to $40.

What you must do at every car servicing
1. Tyre Pressure
WHAT
Tyre pressure affects your car’s ability to turn corners and brake.
WHY Tyre leaks happen very slowly so regular pressure checks will ensure punctures are detected early. But you shouldn’t wait until your regular servicing is due to check your tyre pressure; do it yourself fortnightly at any petrol station.

2. Engine oil
WHAT
The oil keeps your engine lubricated, so the parts don’t rub against each other and wear out. Your mechanic will drain and replace the oil, as well as replace the oil filter. Expect to pay between $50 and $200, depending on your car’s size.
WHY The filter removes contaminants like carbon and dirt; these build up in the oil and can corrode and damage the engine.

3. Brakes
WHAT
The brake pads, lining and rotor are part of the brake system and are housed next to each of the wheels. They push against one another to create friction, which stops the car. A key indication your brakes are wearing out will be a loud screeching sound each time you step on the brake pedal.
WHY Faulty brakes mean your car will take a longer time to come to a complete halt, making it hard for you to gauge a safe stopping distance. If left unchecked and unchanged, the brakes could fail completely.

4. Drive Belt
WHAT
The drive belt is a rubber belt used to power multiple devices in your car, such asthe alternator, power-steering pump, water pump, air-con compressor and air pump. It creates higher tension in your vehicle, leading to less friction in the engine, and giving your car a better overall performance.
WHY Drive belts wear out from use, and will eventually crack and decay from ozone in the air. If it breaks, the numerous components it powers will stop working, leading to adamaged or overheated engine.
 
5. Spark Plugs
WHAT
These little devices inside the engine’s cylinders ignite the petrol, which combusts to power the car.
WHY Old spark plugs can cause the engine to misfire and run poorly, leading to jerky driving; your car will be unable to accelerate properly.

6. Tyre Rotation
WHAT
This means swopping the front tyres with the rear ones, as well as reversing thedirection in which they turn.
WHY This ensures the tyres wear out more evenly; front tyres are usually worked harder on the roads. By rotating them, each tyre is exposed to different types of wear and tear instead of having one tyre expire faster than the rest.
HOW OFTEN Decline this service if you have recently changed your tyres and have yet to hit the six month mark or travelled 10,000km.

Only when recommended by your mechanic…
1. Power-steering Fluid
WHAT
This is the hydraulic fluid that transmits the power in your steering wheel – it makes the wheel turn more smoothly.
WHY Certain components in your car’s power-steering system will wear out over time. Changing the fluid prolongs the life of the car’s power-steering capabilities.
HOW OFTEN Usually at every 40,000km mileage interval.
 
2. Timing Belt
WHAT
This belt allows the car engine valves to open and close; without it, the engine can’t run.
WHY If the belt breaks suddenly from wear and tear, the engine will be damaged.
HOW OFTEN Usually at every 80,000km or 100,000km mileage interval.

3. Air Filter
WHAT
The filter prevents contaminants like grit, dust, and dirt from entering the engine.The mechanic will replace it once it gets too dirty.
WHY If the air filter is clogged up, the engine will not be able to suck enough air into the combustion chambers and your car will lose power. A dirty filter can lead to inefficient fuel usage and a neglected filter could make your car stop running altogether.
HOW OFTEN It depends on the environment you drive in – dusty roads and construction sites cause the filter to get dirtier faster. You can go a year without changing it.

4. Coolant/Anti-freeze
WHAT This liquid ensures the engine doesn’t overheat.
WHY The coolant will break down over time in a hot environment, which will result in engine blockage and overheating.
HOW OFTEN Usually at every 40,000km mileage interval.

5. Transmission Fluid
WHAT
This acts as a cooling lubricant for all the moving parts inside your car’s transmission, also known as the gearbox. It also transfers energy from the engine to the wheels to move the car.
WHY If the fluid isn’t replaced when required, components inside the transmission system can overheat and fail.
HOW OFTEN Usually at every 40,000km mileage interval.

This article was originally published in Simply Her Feb 2012.