Rear View – A Carcility blog

Car Maintenance 101: Everything You Need To Know About Car Maintenance, Service and Repair in the UAE

Car maintenance in UAE
Car maintenance

Buying your dream car and maintaining the same are two completely different concepts. While buying your dream car can give you the pleasure of your life, maintaining the same takes out that very joy quite quickly if you don’t know what you are doing. Failure to maintain the proper guidelines as recommended by the brand can seriously damage your car leading to huge losses. Therefore, one should be more vigilant when it comes to car maintenance and service in order to avoid such circumstances. This is the reason behind us putting together this comprehensive blog so that you can fall back on it anytime you face issues with your car.

Keep in mind that this blog will be updated periodically depending on new trends in the industry so make sure you come back to it when needed.

Table of Contents:

Car Maintenance

    Weather

    Wash

    Checklists

    Tires and Batteries

    Old Car Maintenance

Car Service

    Car Servicing Plans

    Car Servicing Apps

Car Repair

    Car Care Troubles

    Choosing Right

    DIY?

    Taking A Break

    Shifting Gears

    Battered Battery

    Get Scratchin’

    Repair vs Restoration

    Car Care Apps Revolution

About Us

Conclusion

Car Maintenance

So, what is car maintenance? Is it wiping your windshields every morning? Keeping the interiors clean? Making sure your engine is not making any noise? Actually, car maintenance goes way beyond that! One needs to first understand the differences between car maintenance, service and repair before they can properly adopt a proper maintenance routine.

For starters, if you are a new owner or are new to cars in general, the first step of business is to mug up the owner’s manual. Going through the user manual will not only provide you with the most basic car maintenance tips but also provide you with detailed information about your car.

For new users, refer to this comprehensive checklist:

  • Refer to the manual
  • Keep tabs
  • Learn the proper use of peripherals
  • Clean cars regularly
  • Top-up fluids
  • Check for warning lights
  • Review past experiences

Car maintenance Dubai

Not all cars are made the same and therefore, companies tend to provide manuals that contain comprehensive car maintenance checklists that are geared to one particular make. For eg, German makes are quite different from Japanese or American ones, so if you are a user who is used to Japanese makes and are transitioning to German ones, then following the same maintenance procedures will definitely not work. Therefore, refer to the manual and make sure that you are following the guidelines as recommended by the company.

Here are certain things to keep in mind when maintaining your cars in general:

I. Weather

In addition to differences in make, there are a lot of other factors that can affect your car such as temperature, climate and region especially in a hot country like the UAE. Roads in the country get really hot during the daytime and therefore can affect your tires reducing their effect on the tarmac. Also, certain electrical components of your car can get heated up or stop working properly if left on for prolonged periods in such heat. There are a plethora of car maintenance problems that you need to tackle in hot summers in order to ensure that your car keeps running smoothly and without issues.

Here are some ways you can keep your car cool during the summer, especially in a hot country like the UAE:

  • Park under shade
  • Cover steering wheel
  • Roll down windows

Understanding the weather is crucial for any mode of transport. Therefore, try to analyze the prevalent weather conditions in your area before planning a trip. These car care tips will definitely go a long way when driving in the UAE.

II. Car Wash

Car washes are extremely crucial to the overall look and feel of your car. In addition, a car wash ensures that your car is rid of any harmful particles that can have a negative effect on you or the people around you. It is a good idea to get your car washed from a trusted car wash service at regular intervals for best results. However, there are a number of such car wash service providers in the UAE and choosing the right place for car wash can be a challenge in itself.

There are several rules to follow when it comes to a car wash and improper application of these can have a significant impact on your car. Make sure you know what kind of car wash service suits your car the best and also relay your concerns to the service providers before starting the work. Car scratches are a constant threat if you fail to choose the right car wash service for your make, so make sure you understand the details of the wash before opting for one.

Here are some tips to wash your car without scratching to get started:

  • Check the working condition of the car
  • Check under the hood
  • Clean interiors first
  • Clean the exterior next
  • Rinse, wax, repeat

Proper car wash

A proper car wash service will warn you of potential damages before starting work on the car. Also, know that there are differences between an automatic car wash and a manual hand wash. Make sure you know what’s the best possible wash for your vehicle depending on its present condition before deciding on an option.

III. Checklists

Your car contains a number of moving parts that are constantly rubbing and sliding against each other. The more the number of moving parts, the more the risk of a breakdown. Therefore, it is always a good idea to check the different parts of your car at least once every month in order to ensure that you are on top of your game.

In addition, failure to maintain one single part can trigger a domino effect and start affecting other parts of your car. Say, for eg, you drive an SUV with a malfunctioning air conditioner. Sometimes, it manages to cool down the car properly and other times, it kind of struggles and fails. This can have an adverse effect on the other peripherals of your car that are in a direct line with the air conditioner. A short circuit from one could very well damage the others that are in line.

While some components like the air conditioner are complementary, others like your tires and your engine are quite essential. Therefore, more attention must be diverted towards these parts. Understanding the exact time to change your car battery or knowing the ways to prepare for a flat are things that you will learn with time and experience.

Following is a basic list of car maintenance tips things that you should incorporate in your maintenance routine:

  • Inspect regularly
  • Check air filter
  • Check tyre pressure
  • Rotate tyres if necessary
  • Check battery
  • Clean the engine bay
  • Check headlights
  • Check spark plugs
  • Check air conditioner
  • Check warning lights
  • Check drive belt
  • Top-up fluids
  • Carry additional tools at all times
  • Keep car covered when not in use
  • Lastly, drive responsibly

We simply cannot stress enough on the importance of the last point. Responsible driving can go a long way in preventing mishaps and extending the life-cycle of your car.

IV. Tires and Batteries

  • Inspect tire
  • Invest in a reliable roadside assistance program
  • Keep you ‘flat tire kit’ handy
  • Keep your spare tire in top conditions
  • Don’t leave your car out in the heat for prolonged periods

A flat is still manageable if you happen to find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere if you have access to the proper tools. However, there’s another demon on the road that is far more deadly than a mere flat. It can bring your trip to a complete stop and leave you with nothing but a crippling depression and rage. That demon is a dead battery. We cannot count the number of times our customers had to wait until roadside assistance showed up and fixed it for them. What’s worse – there is nothing that can be done on the go without professional help and access to proper tools. Therefore, make sure you inspect your car battery and change it as soon as you notice issues with it.

Here are some ways you can check your battery:

  • Regular Car Service
  • Dashboard Warning Light
  • Computers and Peripherals
  • Notice changes in power output
  • Power of headlights

Hopefully, once you follow these checks, your car will start performing much better than usual. It is important that you keep conducting these checks in order to ensure prolonged periods of safe driving. Also, there are certain perks that come with these extensive checks such as better handling, increased performance, better safety and security, reduction in downtime and lower costs in terms of replacements. In addition, you get to save a lot of money through increased mileage and higher resale value.

V. Old Car Maintenance

If you happen to drive an old car that is starting to pose some problems every time you take it out for a spin but you do not want to replace it just yet, then there are some additional old car checks that you may perform in order to prolong its life on the road. Note that these are entirely dependent on the condition of the car and are subject to change under different circumstances. However, they do tend to work in most cases but if you are still facing problems, then we highly recommend calling in a professional.

For most cases:

  • Check and replace suspension
  • Check fluid levels twice every week
  • Check timing belts
  • Check spark plugs
  • Check battery
  • Check tire treads
  • Always remove dents

These are only some of the ways that you can extend the lifespan of your old car. However, as stated earlier, results may vary and if you notice certain consistent issues, we highly recommend getting a full checkup of your car from a trusted service provider.

Hopefully, by now you understand the essentials of car maintenance. Make sure you store these pointers inside your head or have constant access to this article for best results. Once you have ensured that you completely understand these points, it’s time to move on to the second part of the article – car servicing.

Car Service

Auto service Dubai

So now that you know the basics of car maintenance and the various quirks to look out for, hopefully, you will have an easier time understanding the problems with your car and the ways to approach them. Identifying the actual problems with your car is one of the most important steps in getting it fixed. Many new owners do not understand the exact problems with their cars and this adds to their overall expenses as they need to figure out the issues through a trial-and-error method. This is not recommended as it can drive up costs exponentially.

Here are some ways you can cut down on your overall car servicing bills:

  • Scheduled services
  • Regular oil changes
  • Rotate tires
  • Find the proper service provider
  • Do not always DIY
  • Discounts & offers
  • Check insurance
  • Keep up with the industry

However, it is also not recommended to wait for symptoms to show up in your car before you get it checked. Sometimes, problems with your vehicle are not that evident but can cause a breakdown in the middle of a trip and hence, most manufacturers recommend getting a regular car check-up every 6 months or so (or every 10,000kms, whichever comes first). This section will focus mainly on car servicing and the various nuances that come with it such as car servicing plans and new-age applications that are revolutionizing the entire automobile industry.

I. Car Servicing Plans

Car servicing plans have become extremely popular in the UAE in recent years due to the explosive automobile market that this country enjoys. Therefore, it goes without saying that extra care must be taken when choosing the right car service plan for your car as it can result in an overall loss if you are unsure about it. However, if you are able to choose a proper car servicing plan for your needs, then it can be extremely beneficial for you in the long run.

Following are just some of the benefits of a proper car servicing plan:

    • Avoid expensive bills
    • Forget inflated prices
    • Genuine parts
    • Better road performance
    • Peace of mind

As you can tell, there are a lot of instances where car servicing plans can be extremely beneficial to you – the only thing you need to figure out is whether you actually need a car servicing plan or not. This generally depends on the car you are using, your daily usage, the downtime of your car and the overall maintenance schedules of your car.

Generally speaking, the first month of purchasing the plan can be extremely beneficial for you as you will be receiving services according to the cost. However, the return starts to decrease from the second month onwards when there are not as many servicing needs for your car if you do not use it regularly. Regular use of a car increases its wear and tear, thereby requiring periodic maintenance. If you are still unsure, you can read this article here, which explains in detail the pros and cons of car servicing plans in the UAE.

II. Car Servicing Apps

Following are just some of the benefits of using a car service app to avail all of your car servicing needs:

  • Ease of access
  • Detailed insights
  • No hidden costs
  • Regular and real-time updates
  • No paperwork
  • Service reminders
  • Deals, discounts and offers

These are only some of the basics of getting a car serviced in the UAE. We definitely suggest downloading a car servicing app as it will streamline your entire process exponentially. Car servicing apps have come a long way since their humble beginnings and have now completely transformed the entire scenario in the UAE and we highly recommend checking them out.

Coming to car servicing plans, they are a bit more complicated to grasp. If you are new to the market then we highly recommend conducting a bit of research into your own habits before opting for one. If you are a heavy user of your car, as in, you use it for regular commute, then a car servicing plan is highly recommended as it can cut down on regular servicing costs by a huge margin. Therefore, be wary before choosing a car servicing plan for your car as it may have diminishing returns in the future.

Now that you know the basics of car maintenance and servicing, let’s move on to car repairs and the ways you can approach fixing your car in the UAE.

Car Repair

Best auto repair Dubai

Car repair has always been a debate among car owners – rather let’s say, the proper approach towards car repair has been hotly debated! Why is this? One would expect that a service that has been around for over a century will have strict norms about its approach but that’s not the case here.

Car care and repair have always been one of the greatest challenges faced by owners for quite some time now. One can blame the rapidly changing scenario of the automobile industry or the lack of transparency in the service sector for these issues but if you ask us, that is actually not the case. A more educated guess would be knowledge.

Car tech has advanced a lot over the years and that too exponentially making it extremely hard for the common user to keep up with these changes. Now, you will seldom find a person stuck on the side of the highway with the car bonnet up trying to decipher the problem with their engine, something that was a common sight 30 years ago. People had the knowledge to take care of their own cars and could fix most problems on their own! However, as tech progresses steadily, these same people are not able to address the problem with their cars as efficiently as before! So, what’s the deal here? Knowledge. Knowledge makes all the difference between a proper repair and a haphazard one! This section of the blog will address all the common myths regarding car repair and will highlight the ways you can approach repairing your car in a saturated region like the UAE.

I. Car Care Troubles

If knowledge is the main barrier between users and proper car care issues, then let’s clear up some air here! As we have noticed over the years, there’s a certain pattern that people follow when servicing their vehicles.

The flowchart is as follows:

  • Identify the problem with the car
  • Research into nearby car service providers
  • Choose one that seems reliable and cheap
  • Get your car serviced

There is nothing inherently wrong with the aforementioned approach, but there are some major loopholes that general users tend to miss.

If you asked us the same question, the flowchart will look something like this:

  • Identify the problem with the car
  • Research into nearby car service providers
  • Read up reviews online
  • Compare prices
  • Conduct additional research into the make and build of your car and whether the garage is able to handle such requests
  • Get a quote
  • Go online
  • Compare the quote with other service providers in your locality
  • Choose one that seems knowledgeable, viable, transparent and reliable
  • Ask for regular updates
  • Get your car serviced
  • Do a quick lap around the garage in order to ascertain the fixes
  • Drive home

While this might seem a lot for a mere car service, trust us, it’s important in the long run. Going through each of these can seriously lengthen the overall lifespan of your vehicle for at least a couple of years.

II. Choosing Right

Let’s face it – no one likes to get their car serviced actively. They might take it in for regular maintenance but for fixes, most users wait until their car breaks down in the driveway or in the middle of a commute. This is quite common and no, we are not excluded from this list – we too like to take breaks from time to time. We know there are certain repairs that every car user dreads because it either takes up too much time, is too complicated or just plain boring!

However, we all need to be a bit more vigilant when it comes to car repair in order to save those precious bucks for the year-end holiday otherwise we’ll be stuck in the driveway calling unfortunate numbers.

So how do you approach it? Well, as discussed earlier, the first step for any car service is to understand the signs that your car is giving to you! If you are well versed with your car and you know it inside out, then a slight change in the engine sound or a slight issue with alignment will catch your attention. However, if you are not well versed then these symptoms can go unnoticed for a period of time. One of the most efficient ways that your car connects with you are the warning lights on your dashboard. Make sure you know all the common ones and the reasoning behind them so that you can quickly figure out the problem with your car and address it effectively.

III. DIY?

There are certain repairs that you can take care of at home without the need to drive to a garage. For example, if you have a flat or a problem with your battery – it’s not possible for you to drive the car to a local car service provider. You will either have to take care of the trouble at home or you’ll have to call some mechanics over which is quite expensive. Fortunately, a flat is something that you can easily take care of yourself without having to call in professionals. It is quite easy to deal with as shown in this article  (Flat tyre DIY), but what if you have something more significant like a problem with your brakes or worse, transmission?

IV. Taking A Break

One of the most problematic parts of any car and a real headache for their owners is the brakes. In addition to it being one of the most crucial parts in a car, it also happens to be one of those parts most exposed to wear and tear. The hot and humid climate of the UAE does not help either and contributes to the problem significantly. Therefore, there is a dire need to check the brakes at regular intervals in order to ensure safety. There are various ways (what ways?) to tell that the braking system in your car is not working properly as discussed here and if you witness any of the following symptoms, then take your car to a proper service provider immediately.

V. Shifting Gears

The transmission is another crucial part of a car that we have witnessed new users struggle with. This mainly due to the lack of knowledge and the number of moving parts present inside the system that causes a lot of wear and tear. Despite such challenges, there are certain tell-tell signs that your transmission will display when it is close to breaking down. If you fail to notice these or are unaware of such developments, it becomes quite dangerous for both you and your vehicle.

The following are some symptoms that indicate issues with your transmission system:

  • Burning Smell
  • Leaking Transmission Fluid
  • Broken Universal Joint
  • Torque Converter Issues
  • Solenoid Problems
  • Jammed Clutch

If you notice any of the above problems, then we highly recommend getting in touch with your local service provider immediately for a check-up.

VI. Battered Battery

Another major issue that we notice with new car owners is the battery of their car. A battery is extremely crucial as the car’s engine will not turn on without it. The vehicle’s electrical systems will also fail and the car will be stuck in one place. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you change the battery of your car at regular and proper intervals so as not to face such issues on the road.

Thankfully, changing the battery of your car is not that hard and can be taken care of by you at your driveway itself. However, keep in mind that there are chances of a mishap, so it’s always recommended that you take help from a friend who is well versed with the method if you are not confident yourself. That being said, you will probably get the hang of it quite easily if you know the basics. A more detailed explanation can be found here but if you are looking for a quick recap, follow the instructions listed below:

  • Locate the battery inside the hood of your car
  • Disconnect the negative terminal before disconnecting the positive terminal
  • Do not let the cable come into contact with the body of your car
  • Once disconnected, lift the battery out its battery bay
  • Clean the area with emery cloth or 100-grit sandpaper in order to remove stains, rust and residue
  • Place the new battery inside the battery bay and apply some lithium grease
  • Connect the positive terminal first before connecting the negative terminal
  • Secure the engine bay and replace the hood of your car
  • Crank the engine and check for any discrepancies

VII. Get Scratchin’

Ask any car owner and they will tell you that car scratches are simply the worst! There might be problems with the engine and the tires of your car but a car scratch simply stands out in the sun and makes the blemish very obvious to onlookers. Therefore, it is quite understandable that people want to rid their precious vehicles off these scratches in order to restore them to their former glory. However, there is a method to the madness and one cannot simply go around applying various coats in order to make the mark disappear.

For instance, one must understand the anatomy of scratch first in order to tackle it efficiently otherwise they may end up doing more damage to it instead. Therefore, let’s understand the different types of scratches first before we delve into the methods of getting rid of them.

  • Clear-Coat Scratches: Also known as surface scratches, they do not go very deep.
  • Colour-Coat Scratches: Deeper than surface scratches, they chip off the paint job of your car.
  • Primer-Coat Scratches: Also known as deep scratches, these go right down to the body of your car.

There is actually a simple method one can use to determine the depth and damage of a scratch. Simply run a fingernail over the scratch gently taking care not to cause further damage to your car. If your fingernail gets caught in the grooves of the scratches, then it probably goes into the paint job on your car. However, if your fingernail does not get caught, then the scratch is probably on the surface and can be fixed with a common compound.

Deep scratches are not that hard to differentiate since they are quite prominent and the body of your car is generally exposed. These require dedicated treatment and we highly recommend hiring a professional for the same. However, all other scratches can be repaired by you at your garage itself if you have access to the proper materials and equipment. Also, we highly recommend taking help from a professional if you are not well versed with the process but if you do feel confident, then you can refer to this article here that explains the steps required in detail.

VIII. Repair vs Restoration

One of the many questions that new car owners come up with is the actual difference between total repair and restoration. Many people have run down vehicles in their garages that they want to repair and preserve but that’s not called restoration. A proper car restoration will attempt to buy back original parts rather than using alternatives. A preservation attempt will make use of newer parts that boost the performance level of the car in order to make it viable in a modern context again.

We thought this will be an interesting topic to discuss as car preservation and restoration is fast becoming a hobby in the new world and therefore, it is important that people in a car-crazy nation such as the UAE understand the difference between these seemingly similar terms. If you want to read more about car restoration and preservation, then you can refer to this article here which describes in detail the methods to properly preserve or restore a car and the subtle differences between them.

IX. Car Care Apps Revolution

Car care apps are the newest thing to penetrate the automobile industry and they have completely revolutionized the way people approach car servicing and repair in a modern context. They are taking advantage of the rapidly growing internet connection all over the world and the growing number of smartphone users in order to enable car owners and service providers to share a common portal.

One of the biggest challenges faced by car owners for a very long time has been finding a proper car service provider for their make and model, who are able to deliver consistent and credible services over time while keeping the quotes affordable. However, these car care apps are completely standardizing the industry thus making it easier for car owners to avail more credible services at affordable prices. In addition, it also makes it easier for newer users to search and surf for the various service providers in their locality in order to ascertain the choices that best fit their make.

Just like all other industries the car care and service industry is also going through a paradigm shift. Therefore, it only makes sense for car users to adopt this newer technology as they provide a lot of benefits such as:

  • Freedom of Choice
  • Efficiency
  • Reliability
  • Cost-Effective
  • Loyalty Programs
  • Discounts
  • Innovation
  • Ease of Access
  • Doorstep Services
  • Track and Maintain Profile
  • Software Integration
  • Payment Gateways
  • Continuous Support

As you can tell, there are many benefits of using car care and service apps, especially in a car-crazy country like the UAE. One is able to locate and compare several car service providers from the comfort of their living room and book services instantly. They are able to track and maintain a profile of their car that will provide them with detailed insights about its condition. In addition, they are also able to track the progress on their vehicle while it’s at the service center right from their bedroom. Such conveniences would have turned heads back in the day but it’s now taken for granted. If you want more details about car service apps, then you can go through this article here that lists all of its benefits.

So now that you know the basics, you can follow the steps discussed above and you will get your car fixed in no time! Going DIY definitely saves some costs but you need to be extra careful or you will end up damaging your car instead.

Also, if you have a warranty for your car, then we highly recommend taking a drive to your nearest certified service provider since they are the people most knowledgeable about your car. In addition, there are certain situations where an extended warranty may come in handy but they are extremely situational as highlighted in this article here.

About Us

So who are we? Why do we take so much interest in cars?

We are Carcility, a dedicated car servicing, maintenance and repair app in the UAE that is completely revolutionizing the way people go about servicing their car. Remember the number of steps that we talked about earlier that is necessary when you need to get your car serviced? We completely streamline that entire process and ensure that your car gets the required treatment it deserves. We have partnered with the best car service providers in the UAE and comprehensively list them for our users so that they can make an informed decision instantly.

The world around us is going through a digital revolution and it is becoming extremely important for all sectors to keep up with this shift in dynamics. So why should the automobile industry fall behind? We noticed that availing proper car services that do not rip off or take advantage of the car owners were becoming extremely troublesome in the UAE despite being one of the leading innovators and users of premium cars.

Therefore, we set about to create a safe environment for car owners where they will be able to avail the services that they require instantly and without hassle. The app creates a profile for your car and then stores and updates the same according to the services you avail in real time. This way the app can track the problems with your car and notify you when a service is due. Once you open up the app and provide the problems you are facing, the app will quickly translate the same to all the service providers in your locality, These garages will then review the problem and provide you with a quote within minutes and you, the user, are then able to sort through the options and choose the one you like best. This entirely puts the power back into the hands of the car owner, a problem we feel was being exercised to great lengths by the garages. However, this completely standardizes the environment and makes sure that the garages are not able to charge you more than what you owe them. In addition to this, there are several other advantages of using a digital platform as opposed to a physical one some of which are listed below:

  • Instant Quotes
  • Extensive Reviews
  • Reliable Car Service Providers
  • Maintain Records
  • Attractive Discounts and Offers
  • Loyalty Programs

We strive to provide the best support we can for our users and also provide them with certain incentives that will benefit them in the long run. Carcility was launched way back in 2017 in Dubai and has now expanded its services to the neighbouring cities of Sharjah and Abu Dhabi with flying reviews and receptions all over. Please visit our website for more details about our services and offers. The app is currently available on android and iOS. You can also read a more detailed account of our success story here.

Conclusion

So there you have it! A comprehensive starting guide for all car owners that contains all the details one might need about basic car maintenance, service and auto repair. Please keep in mind that this should only be used as a reference and if you are facing problems that you can’t fix or diagnose on your own, then we highly recommend taking it to the professionals instead of tinkering with it yourself. That might cause further damage to the car and push your overall costs up instead of cutting it short. If you feel you do not know what you are doing or are stuck at any point, it’s always wise to call for help, learn about the issue some more so that you can actually take care of it yourself in the future. With that being said, we wish you all the best, drive safe, always wear your seatbelts and never drive under the influence! Godspeed!

We can, with Carcility!

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