Understanding Car Maintenance vs Roadworthiness
Car maintenance is one of the main concerns in road safety as it can prevent and reduce mishaps due to defects in a car’s roadworthiness. Poor vehicle maintenance could be a primary reason for a road accident to occur. It may not just pose dangers to the owners/drivers and their passengers, but also to the safety of other road users.
Roadworthiness is an indication of whether a car or vehicle is fit according to accepted standards prior to use on the open road. Thus, it is important to ensure that a car is well-maintained in order to keep its roadworthiness as all car components and the overall system will be degraded over time due to use and many other factors. This explains why car maintenance, including preventive, corrective and predictive maintenance, are important routines in the ownership period!
Preventive Maintenance is conducted to keep car systems and components in working order, as well as to extend their useful lives. This routine includes:
- Changing engine lubricant after certain recommended kilometre-age (e.g. 5,000 km);
- Replacing the timing belt (e.g. 100,000 km);
iii. Performing tyre rotation (e.g. every six months or 10,000 km); and
- Changing the transmission fluid (e.g. 40,000 km).
Corrective Maintenance or usually referred to as “repair”, is conducted to restore the original functionality of the parts, subsystems, or systems in a car. Due to wear-and-tear, signs of damages or road accidents, car owners may react to the situation by:
- Repairing or servicing the existing component and/ or system;
- Replacing the existing component and/ or system that is considered as compulsory if damage/failure involves critical parts, subsystems or major systems.
Predictive Maintenance is an advanced stage in maintenance practice whereby different tools are used to detect any tendency towards failure, and necessary work will be carried out once any irregularities are detected.
For example, a technician will analyse an oil sample from the previous usage to detect the presence of bearing material, or perform a scan to view data parameters even when the malfunction indicator light (MIL) is not lit.