Guide to Car Servicing
We are all told that servicing our car is important, but do we all actually know what happens in a car service?
Unlike MOTs, car servicing is not a legal requirement so there can be some confusion over how often you should have your car serviced and which type of service you need.
Alex Taylor, founder of AutoAdvisor.co.uk, covers the most common questions such what happens in a car service, what does a car service include and what is the difference between an interim, full or major car service?
What is a car service?
In a nutshell, a car service is routine maintenance for your vehicle. A common misconception is that if a car has recently passed its MOT then a service isn’t necessary, but a car service is far more in-depth and covers preventative maintenance that helps avoid more serious issues down the road.
What’s included in a car service?
This very much depends on what level of service it is – whether it’s an interim, full or major service.
• An interim service is for every 6,000 miles and covers all the major fluids – including brake fluid, screen wash and coolant.
• A full service, or annual service, is recommended every 12,000 miles or every year; whichever comes soonest. This is often what people mean when they refer to a car service. The checks are outlined by vehicle manufacturers so is specific to your make and model of car.
• A major service is recommended every 24 months or every 24,000 miles and is essentially a complete check of the vehicle.
What is a full service?
A full service includes more than 60 individual checking points such as brake checks, oil change and the changing of some filters.
In addition, safety-related features can be checked such as engine tuning, hydraulic fluid and coolant levels, tyre pressure and tyre condition and the vehicle’s cooling system.
What does a full car service include?
Full car services are tailored to the individual make and model of the vehicle, but there are some standard elements included in most full car services covering general checks, internal and visual elements, engine checks, brakes, wheels and tyres, steering and suspension.
Examples include changing the air filter, draining engine oil, replacing the filter and refilling with fresh oil, a visual inspection of the radiator and coolant pipes, checking wheel bearings and checking for transmission oil leaks.
Do I really need to service my car?
Whether it’s an interim, full or major service that your vehicle needs, its crucial to have it done.
Servicing your car not only keeps it running as smoothly as possible, it can potentially save you money through improved fuel efficiency and avoiding costly repairs. Not only that, it keeps a comprehensive record, which is vital to keep your warranty valid or to prove the service history if you go to sell your car in the future.
On top of all that, it gives you peace of mind that your car is in tip top condition and is as safe as possible on the road.