Maintaining Your European Car – Why Is Regular Maintenance Important?

If you own a car, particularly a high-quality European vehicle, you want to maintain the engine so that it runs for many years.

To have a long-lasting engine, you need to make sure you have the proper auto service and repairs.


What does this auto service look like for European cars?

Many of the principles for proper European auto service are the same for other cars.  In this blog, we will look at some tips on preventative maintenance, scheduled maintenance, and auto repair for your vehicle.

Are you ready to learn how to keep your car running great for many years?

Let’s get started!


What Is European Auto Service & Repair?

What is the difference between preventative maintenance, scheduled service, and vehicle repair?

Essentially, they break down like this:

Preventative maintenance is being aware of the possible failures of any automotive or mechanical system and attentively being proactive towards the protection of these systems.

Scheduled service is a schedule created by the manufacturers and recommended to the vehicle owner when they should expect a service to be performed, based on a predetermined mileage range. These include things like spark plugs, timing belts, and filters.

scheduled vs preventative

Vehicle repair is the replacement or reconstruction of the inevitable, yet never planned, failure of mechanical systems and parts.

Over the years, some car owners have expressed that they thought “preventative maintenance” was a scam and just a pleasant wordplay to make an “up-sale” to unwitting customers. 

Others, however, would claim this type of approach saves you from expensive repairs in the future. 

So which is correct?  

Well, both! 

It depends on the facility, the honesty of the service writer, and the technician. Let’s look at an example.

An Example of Preventative Maintenance

Many vehicles currently on the road now have what’s referred to as “Direct Injection” as opposed to the previously more common “Port Injection.” 

The simple difference is how the fuel enters the combustion chamber, but that’s not the point here. 

While direct injection systems use fuel more efficiently, they are also prone to carbon build up in the intake manifold.  This means the engine becomes starved for oxygen because the pathways get blocked by carbon deposits. This is a common issue when a direct injection vehicle hits roughly 65,000 miles.  

There are two ways to deal with this issue. 

The first is to wait until it rears its ugly head and throws a “check engine light,” begins to run roughly, and loses power. This would be a repair point issue, and depending on how a facility solves this problem, it could cost anywhere from $500 to $2000 to remedy. 

A second option is a four-part chemical cleaning as a preventative measure every 35,000 miles.  This cleaning would make the repair unnecessary.  

So what is the better move? 

It depends on the engine, and this is why you need a trustworthy repair facility to help advise you on the most cost-effective approach. 

For a smaller, 4-cylinder engine, it’s usually more cost-effective to wait until the symptoms arise and perform the repair. Transversely, if the engine is an eight-cylinder engine, the pre-emptive chemical approach is significantly more cost-effective.

Proper European Service with Fluids

What about fluids? 

We all know we need to have our oil changed routinely, but many often disregard the other fluids in the vehicle. 

Changing the brake fluid, the antifreeze or coolant, the transmission fluid, and the power steering fluids are services that could be considered both preventative and scheduled (or recommended by mileage). 

All fluids break down in composition eventually, so knowing when to exchange them, or flush them, is important. These recommended service actions are usually in the owner’s manual of the vehicle, which sadly no one reads, or are available on a multitude of sites online.

By exchanging these fluids within a recommended mileage interval, one helps avoid costly repairs to these systems later.

Here are some common fluids to change regularly: 

  • Brake fluid:  Changed every 20,000 to 30,000 miles or two to three years. 
  • Antifreeze and coolant:  Flushed every three years or 40,000 miles, or anytime a coolant system part is replaced. 
  • Transmission fluid and filter:  Serviced on the manufacturer’s recommended time frame since there is a lot of variation between vehicles and manufacturers.
  • Power steering fluid: Also serviced on the manufacturer’s recommended time frame. 

Whether you should follow a preventative, scheduled, or reactionary approach really depends on how long you intend to keep the vehicle.


Conclusion: Protect Your Auto Investment!

According to an IHS Markit study, the average length of new-vehicle ownership in the U.S. stands at 79.3 months, or nearly six and a half years. The average mileage per year for those vehicles is 12,000 miles. 

That’s almost 80,000 miles per vehicle. 

A vehicle is usually the second largest investment a person makes after their home mortgage. 

Remember this as you approach servicing your European auto:

All things built or designed by man eventually fail.  However, proper maintenance dramatically extends the life of these systems and parts. 

A great many vehicular repairs could be avoided if a maintenance plan or schedule was followed.  Furthermore, it is amazing how small mechanical problems begin to snow-ball if left unresolved.

Protect your investments and take care of your car!  Drive fast but safely.


Who Is Autohaus Social?

If you own a European car and are looking for European auto service in Atlanta, stop by Autohaus Social today.  We focus only on European brands and have the tools, equipment, and knowledge to keep your vehicle running in the best shape possible.

Request an appointment today and have peace of mind that you are receiving only the best in service and parts.  We look forward to meeting you!