26 April 2023

Technical Inspection

The Advantages of Proper Car Maintenance: Roadworthy Vehicles & Long-Term Savings

In today's fast-paced world, our vehicles have become an essential part of our daily lives, enabling us to travel from point A to B with ease and convenience. As such, it's crucial to ensure that our cars are in top-notch condition and roadworthy at all times. At DEKRA, we take pride in the part we play in ensuring that the vehicles on South Africa's roads are roadworthy and that everybody has a safe journey. You can play your part as well by booking a DEKRA Roadworthy Vehicle Inspection right now.

In today's article, we'll explore the advantages of proper car maintenance and its direct impact on your wallet. From preventative care to fuel efficiency and accident prevention, we'll dive into the connection between roadworthy vehicles and cost savings, proving that taking good care of your car is not only a wise decision for safety reasons but also a smart financial investment.

A Roadworthy Vehicle: Understanding the Basics

What it means for a vehicle to be roadworthy

When a vehicle is referred to as 'roadworthy', it means that it meets the minimum safety and performance standards necessary for safe operation on public roads. This includes having properly functioning systems such as brakes, tires, lights, steering, and suspension, among others. In essence, a roadworthy vehicle is safe, reliable, and legally compliant for everyday use.

DEKRA's Role in Ensuring Roadworthy Vehicles

As the premier provider of Roadworthy Vehicle Inspections in South Africa, DEKRA plays a crucial role in promoting safer and higher-quality vehicles on the nation's roads. Given the invaluable nature of human life, opting for a DEKRA Roadworthy Vehicle Inspection guarantees an enhanced driving experience.

DEKRA's unwavering commitment to the National Road Traffic Act's regulations and the standards outlined in SANS 10047/SANS 10216, combined with its vast international expertise, ensures that customers receive a Roadworthy Vehicle Inspection that upholds the most stringent testing criteria. By choosing DEKRA, you are choosing a partner dedicated to your safety and the safety of others on the road.

Read: What to expect during a Roadworthy Vehicle Inspection

1. Preventative Maintenance: The Key to a Roadworthy Vehicle
The importance of regular car maintenance

Regular car maintenance is crucial for maintaining a roadworthy vehicle. Routine checks and addressing minor issues before they escalate ensure safe, efficient, and reliable operation. Additionally, regular maintenance helps identify potential problems early, preventing expensive repairs, unexpected breakdowns, and contributing to your car's longevity and value.

Basic maintenance tasks every car owner should perform

To keep your vehicle in top shape, there are several basic maintenance tasks that every car owner should perform. These include:

  • Regularly checking and changing engine oil and oil filters to ensure optimal engine performance.
  • Inspecting and maintaining tire pressure and alignment to promote even tire wear, improve fuel efficiency, and enhance overall handling.
  • Checking and replacing worn-out brake pads and rotors to maintain braking efficiency and prevent accidents.
  • Examining and changing air filters to optimise fuel efficiency and engine performance.
  • Ensuring all lights are functioning correctly, including headlights, tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals.
  • Inspecting and maintaining fluid levels, such as coolant, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid, to ensure proper functioning of various vehicle systems.
  • Regularly servicing the vehicle at recommended intervals, as specified in the owner's manual.
How preventative maintenance can save you money

Investing in preventative maintenance saves money by reducing expensive repairs and extending your vehicle's life. Identifying and addressing potential problems early helps avoid costly breakdowns and improves fuel efficiency, saving on fuel costs. Moreover, a well-maintained car has a higher resale value, as buyers appreciate the benefits of a reliable, roadworthy vehicle.

Photo credit: Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

2. Fuel Efficiency and Its Impact on Your Wallet
The connection between a well-maintained vehicle and fuel efficiency

A well-maintained vehicle is more likely to be fuel-efficient, as all its systems function at their optimal capacity. A poorly maintained engine, for instance, may consume more fuel than necessary, while underinflated tires can increase rolling resistance, leading to higher fuel consumption. By performing regular maintenance, you can ensure that your car runs smoothly and efficiently, ultimately resulting in lower fuel expenses and a positive impact on your wallet.

Tips for improving your car's fuel efficiency

There are several ways to improve your car's fuel efficiency, including:

  • Keep your tires properly inflated
  • Regularly service your engine
  • Avoid excessive idling
  • Reduce weight and drag
  • Drive smoothly and anticipate traffic
  • Use cruise control when appropriate
The potential cost savings from better fuel efficiency

Improving your car's fuel efficiency can lead to significant cost savings over time. For example, if you manage to increase your fuel efficiency by just 10%, you could potentially save hundreds of rands per year, depending on your driving habits and fuel prices. By consistently practising fuel-saving strategies and maintaining your vehicle properly, you can enjoy long-term financial benefits and contribute to a greener environment.

3. Reducing the Risk of Costly Repairs
Proper maintenance can prevent expensive breakdowns

Proper maintenance plays a vital role in preventing expensive breakdowns and keeping your vehicle in peak condition. By regularly servicing your car and addressing minor issues before they escalate, you can reduce the risk of serious mechanical failures that often lead to costly repairs. Additionally, routine maintenance helps identify potential problems early, allowing you to address them proactively and minimising the chances of unexpected breakdowns and the associated expenses.

Common issues that can be avoided through regular car care and a DEKRA Multi-Point Inspection

Several common issues can be avoided or mitigated through regular car care or a visit to your closest DEKRA, including:

  • Engine problems
  • Transmission failures
  • Brake system failures
  • Cooling system issues
  • Suspension and steering problems

Read: What gets inspected during a DEKRA Multi-Point Inspection

The long-term financial benefits of avoiding major repairs

Avoiding major repairs through regular maintenance can result in substantial long-term financial benefits. By investing in preventative care, you can reduce the likelihood of expensive breakdowns and extend the life of your vehicle. This not only saves you money on repair costs but also helps maintain your car's resale value. On top of that, a well-maintained vehicle typically offers better fuel efficiency, leading to additional savings at the pump.

4. Prolonging the Life of Your Vehicle
Proper maintenance can extend your car's lifespan

Another one of the advantages of proper car maintenance is the extension of your vehicle's lifespan. By regularly servicing your car and addressing potential issues before they become major problems, you can keep your vehicle running smoothly and efficiently for a longer period. Regular maintenance ensures that your car's vital systems, such as the engine, transmission, brakes, and suspension, continue to perform optimally, reducing the risk of severe mechanical failures. All of this can be covered by one of the great services offered by DEKRA, so get in touch with us to find out how we can help.

The financial consequences of accidents and insurance claims

A longer-lasting vehicle has a positive impact on your finances in several ways:

  • Reduced repair costs
  • Lower depreciation
  • Higher resale value
  • Deferred replacement costs
Tips for maintaining your car's value and resale potential
  • Perform regular maintenance: Adhere to the manufacturer's recommended service intervals and keep detailed records of all maintenance and repairs performed on your vehicle.
  • Keep it clean: Regularly wash and wax your car to protect the paint and prevent rust. Clean the interior regularly to keep it looking fresh and well-maintained.
  • Address issues promptly: If you notice any unusual sounds, smells, or performance issues, have your vehicle inspected by a professional and address the problem as soon as possible.
  • Protect your car from the elements: Whenever possible, park your vehicle in a garage or under a carport to shield it from harsh weather conditions and sun damage.
  • Drive sensibly: Avoid aggressive driving and treat your vehicle gently to minimise wear and tear on its components.
5. Ensuring Safety and Avoiding Accidents
A roadworthy vehicle contributes to safer driving

A roadworthy vehicle is a crucial factor in ensuring safer driving, as it guarantees that all essential systems are functioning correctly and efficiently. This includes properly working brakes, tires with adequate tread and air pressure, fully operational lights, and a well-maintained suspension system. By keeping your vehicle in a roadworthy condition, you can significantly reduce the risk of accidents caused by mechanical failures.

The financial consequences of accidents and insurance claims

Accidents and insurance claims can have severe financial consequences, including:

  • Increased insurance premiums
  • Deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses
  • Diminished vehicle value
  • Lost wages and productivity
Tips for maintaining a safe vehicle and avoiding costly incidents
  • Adhere to a regular maintenance schedule: Ensure that your car is serviced at recommended intervals, with all vital systems inspected and maintained.
  • Check your tires: Regularly inspect your tires for proper inflation and tread depth, and rotate them as needed to promote even wear.
  • Monitor your brakes: Have your brakes inspected periodically, and replace worn pads and rotors to maintain optimal braking performance.
  • Keep your lights in working order: Regularly check your headlights, tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals, replacing any burnt-out bulbs promptly
  • Don't ignore warning signs: If you notice any unusual sounds, vibrations, or dashboard warning lights, have your vehicle inspected by a professional to identify and address potential issues.

Photo credit: Travis Soule on StockSnap

The advantages of proper car maintenance are undeniable, as they contribute significantly to the financial benefits of maintaining a roadworthy vehicle. From fuel efficiency to accident prevention and extending your car's lifespan, taking good care of your vehicle is both a smart safety measure and a wise financial investment.

DEKRA's services are designed to support you in achieving these goals, providing thorough inspections and expert advice for your regular car maintenance needs. As we reflect on the importance of proper car care for cost savings, let us not forget the crucial role it plays in ensuring safer roads and a more enjoyable driving experience. So, embrace the advantages of proper car maintenance, and trust DEKRA to guide you on your journey toward a more reliable and cost-effective vehicle. Get in touch with us to book your DEKRA Roadworthy Vehicle Inspection.