Is a DIY car service really a good idea?

12 July 2019

The answer is no - it’s not a good idea to DIY service your car. If regular garage servicing can be a tough financial pill to swallow, it’s worth considering a service plan.


For a lot of people, owning and driving a car regularly represents a lot of feel-good parts of life. Like most things in life, however, there are some drawbacks to car ownership. Primarily, that downside comes down to the costs associated with driving. Alongside petrol, potential car finance and insurance, there’s also vehicle maintenance costs to consider. 

Basic maintenance generally comes in the form of a car service, which is a regular procedure that checks up on, and if necessary, replaces, parts of your car that wear and tear over time. Things like the motor oil, air and oil filters, and vital fluids in your car will all either get replaced or topped up. Other key components such as your brakes, exhaust, clutch and tyres will all get a visual inspection to ensure they’re in good health. 

The issue is, while this work is necessary for the working order of your car and your own personal safety, it isn’t necessarily a cheap procedure. With average servicing costs ranging anywhere from R2500 to upwards of R 8000 per year depending on what car you own, it’s understandable that you may be tempted to find a way to save costs. 

One such way to save costs is to do the work yourself. Getting “hands on” with things can be a rewarding experience, and can save you money, but should you apply this to servicing your car?

It’s true that servicing your own car can potentially save some money. However, you should steer away from DIY servicing. Unless you’re a fully qualified mechanic, working on modern, technically-advanced cars is a risky business and you need to know exactly what you’re doing. Modern cars often require specialist tools and software to carry out work correctly and skipping parts you don’t have access to will potentially put your car’s health and your own safety in jeopardy. Not to mention, of course, that carrying out your own service will not yield you a stamp in the logbook at the end – to a second-hand buyer, it’ll look like your car has no service history at all. 

If it’s not a good idea to DIY service your car, and regular garage servicing can be a tough financial pill to swallow, it’s worth considering a Service Plan. Service plans are, in essence, contracts that set out a long-term service plan for your car with a garage or dealer. The work is still carried out by professionals, but it offers several distinct benefits.

A majority of service plans allow you to spread the costs on a monthly basis. Rather than take a big hit that can mess up your budget, spreading the costs out reduces the pain significantly. Additionally, a service plan ensures your car will receive regular maintenance on time. Not only does that mean your car is far less likely to go wrong in the future, it will also look good on the record when you come to sell the car in the future!

With that in mind, consider a Service Plan today – it might just give you the extra piece of mind that you’ve been looking for.


This article is intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information in this article is strictly at your own risk. We will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of the information contained in this article.

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