Vehicle Maintenance and Repair

Many motorists don’t realise that under Road Traffic Law, it is the responsibility of the owner and/or driver of a vehicle to make sure it’s in a roadworthy condition at all times when used in a public place. All parts and equipment of that vehicle must be in good and efficient working order.

You risk breaking the law if you don’t maintain your vehicle in a roadworthy condition. If stopped by a member of An Garda Síochána while driving an unsafe or defective vehicle, it’s the owner and/or driver that’s liable for prosecution. This offence attracts up to 5 penalty points on conviction. The courts can impose a fine of up to €2,500 and a prison sentence or both.

It is not enough that your car has a valid NCT disc on the windscreen. A vehicle needs to be serviced in line with manufacturer’s recommendations in between roadworthiness tests as well. Some motorists think that once their car passes the NCT it doesn’t need be serviced until the next test or until a warning light comes on. This is a very poor attitude towards vehicle maintenance. And potentially a very costly one, from both a safety and financial point of view. Click here to find out why the NCT is not the same as a warranty.

The general recommendation for servicing is as follows:

Service Type Service Timing*

Interim Service

Every 6 months or 5,000Km (whichever comes first)

Full Service

Every 12 months or 10,000Km (whichever comes first)

*This is only a general guideline, you should consult the owner’s manual for your vehicle’s recommended service intervals.

Many newer cars have Condition Based Servicing (CBS) that constantly monitors service components for wear and shows up on the dashboard when replacement is required or when the car needs servicing.

Always keep your owner’s manual in the vehicle. It contains valuable instructions, information and warnings specific to your vehicle such as:

  • How often your car needs to be serviced 
  • How to check your car’s fluids (water, oil etc.) and how often they should be replaced or topped up
  • How to inflate your tyres correctly
  • How to check the electrics (e.g. battery, lights, cooling fan etc.)
  • How to decipher dashboard warning lights

Our car walk around check leaflet provides a handy list of items you can inspect yourself before embarking on a journey.

Make sure you always allow for car maintenance in your budget.

Many drivers consider servicing an expense, but keeping your car in a good condition can actually save money. Vehicles which have a valid service history and regular maintenance will not only ensure that a car runs more efficiently and safely but will also assist in minimising problems and expensive repairs in the future.