Myth Busted: Diesel vs Petrol Servicing Frequency

If you’re in the market for a new car, chances are you’ve heard of the four main types of engines – petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric. Most secondhand cars are petrol or diesel as the other two are quite new to the market and harder to source. When deciding on which type of car to buy, it’s important to consider the long-term running and maintenance costs of your potential car to make sure you can afford its upkeep.

When it comes to servicing – there is little more you can do for your car to improve its lifespan, running costs and quality of use. All cars should be serviced regularly, around every six months, whether brand new or 20 years old. A maintained servicing schedule will ensure the car runs how it should, with all components kept well-oiled, cooled and lubricated. A well-maintained engine will encounter fewer running issues and keep you safer on the roads overall. The cost of a service will generally depend on the individual mechanic or manufacturer specifications, but the fuel type can also have a small impact.

The type of servicing for a petrol vehicle vs that of a diesel is different in some ways, yet a diesel car runs and is maintained much the same as a petrol-fuelled car and, in fact, is generally less complicated. A diesel system has no ignition process, removing an entire section of the servicing process which would usually require careful attention. However, in a diesel car, it is vital that the fuel that passes through the injector pumps and injectors is always clean and the filters are regularly changed over. Otherwise, unless your diesel car requires an idle speed reset, the servicing protocol will be much the same, generally including:

  • Basic Car Safety Check
    Seatbelt tension check, external lights check, handbrake function, ensure mirrors and windscreens aren’t cracked, check wiper blades, ensure the horn is working, check fluids and tyres
  • Fluids Top Up
    Top-up engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, windscreen washer fluid, clutch fluid for manual cars, gearbox oil, and differential fluid.
  • Tyres Check
    Check tyre pressure, tread depth, and the health of the spare tyre, plus the car jack and tools.
  • Lights Check
    Ensure the headlights, indicators, brake, reverse, and parking lights are in working order.
  • Additional Items
    Check radiator hoses for leaks or cracks, ensure the engine air filter is clean, look for corrosion around the battery, listen for strange sounds, and ensure that fan belts are secure.

The servicing protocol for any vehicle is tailored to suit the vehicle in question, and a good mechanic will know what to look and listen for the second you present with your vehicle, whether it is petrol or diesel. Some diesel cars have larger filters than others, and some petrol vehicles have manufacturer-specific items that need to be looked over.

When it comes to the care of your car, prevention is always better than a cure, and for diesel cars in particular – the cost of neglect can be enough to send the car to early retirement. Alternatively, if cared for, a diesel engine can have an incredibly long and reliable working life. No matter what kind of engine you drive, the need to maintain healthy spark plugs, brake pads, fluids and tyres is never diminished. If you’re driving with broken lights or bald tyres – there is a risk to both your safety and your license, with the police looking out for these issues on the roads 24/7.

In considering your next car purchase, don’t fall into the trap of thinking some cars will need less servicing than others. When it comes to petrol vs diesel cars, there is little difference in their need for regular attention and check-ups. Some will need specific checks depending on manufacturing or insurance requirements, while others will have larger filters or idle speeds that are prone to fluctuation. If you’re concerned about the servicing requirements for your new vehicle, or if you want to find out more about how we can help, click here for more information on vehicle servicing. Having your mechanic on speed dial will put you well ahead of the game when it comes to keeping your vehicle running for years to come.

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